Wärtsilä Corporation has been awarded a contract to supply the first Sulzer RT-flex50 low-speed marine diesel engines. The RT-flex50 is the latest in the Sulzer RT-flex engine series which, with their electronically-controlled common-rail systems
, are the most advanced low-speed engines for ship propulsion.
Four six-cylinder Sulzer RT-flex50 engines have been ordered from Wärtsilä by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Ltd in the People's Republic of China and will be installed in four 53,800 tdw Handymax bulk carriers contracted by the Greek shipowner Enterprises Shipping & Trading.
These Sulzer 6RT-flex50 engines will be built under licence from Wärtsilä Corporation by Diesel United Ltd of Aioi, Japan
. The engines will each develop 9720 kW (13,200 bhp) at 124 rpm.
The bulk carriers are expected to be delivered in 2006 and early 2007. They are of an updated design with full double hulls. The vessels are designed for general world-wide service but are destined for charter to South African operators.
The Sulzer RT-flex50 is being developed by Wärtsilä Corporation on the basis of the Sulzer RTA50 engine jointly designed by Wärtsilä and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd in Japan. Both engine types are of 500 mm cylinder bore by 2050 mm piston stroke and have a maximum continuous power of 1620 kW/cylinder (2200 bhp/cylinder) at 124 rpm. They are built with five to eight cylinders in-line, covering a power range of 5650 kW to 12,960 kW (7700 to 17,600 bhp). They thus offer the right powers and speeds for a wide variety of ship types including the new generation of Handymax and Panamax bulk carriers, large product tankers, container feeder vessels and medium-sized reefer ships.
Sulzer RT-flex engines are now available in six cylinder sizes covering a power range of 5650 kW to 80,080 kW (7700 to 108,920 bhp).
To date, 89 RT-flex engines of all six cylinder sizes are on order or in service, with an aggregate power of 3.64 million kW (4.95 million bhp). The first RT-flex engine has been in service since September 2001 and accumulated more than 14,000 running hours with very satisfactory experience.