Wärtsilä, MAN Diesel & Turbo Renew Emissions Reduction Research

By Eric Haun at September 24, 2014 15:08
Filed Under: New Technology, Research & Development

Conceived by two of the world’s leading engine manufacturing groups in 2002 and launched in 2004, Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo’s HERCULES (High Efficiency Engine R&D on Combustion with Ultra Low Emissions for Ships) research and development project sought to develop new large engine technologies to increase marine engine efficiency primarily reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

Now, following three completed projects within this program from 2004-2014, the initiative will be renewed with the HERCULES-2 venture, pending approval under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation.

According to Wärtsilä, the HERCULES-2 project aims to develop a fuel-flexible marine engine that is optimally adaptive to its operating environment. The work will focus on four areas of integrated research and development divided into Work Package Groups (WPG): WPG 1 – a fuel flexible engine; WPG II – new materials (for engine applications); WPG III – an adaptive powerplant for lifetime performance; and WPG IV – a near zero emissions engine.

The work aims to build upon and ultimately surpass the targets of the previous HERCULES projects by combining the latest technologies and integrated solutions, notably  including several full-scale prototypes and shipboard demonstrators that will speed the development of commercially available products.

The project will further accelerate the shipping industry’s transition to better fuel efficiency and a significantly reduced environmental footprint, while strengthening the position of the participating partners in the market place.

The cooperation between Wärtsilä and MAN Diesel & Turbo will also involve a number of other European companies, as well as universities and research institutions. The consortium is made up of 32 partners, of which 30% are industrial and 70% are universities and research institutes. The budget is divided between industry and the universities on a 63% - 37% basis, respectively.

JV Takes Control of Wärtsilä’s 2-stroke Business

By Eric Haun at July 24, 2014 13:55
Filed Under: Shipyards

Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture, which will take over Wärtsilä’s two-stroke engine business. Under the new agreement, CSSC will own 70% of the business through its affiliate CSSC Investment and Development Co. Ltd, while Wärtsilä will hold the remaining 30%.

The parties have agreed to transfer CSSC’s whole position as shareholder to a joint venture established by an entity connected with the Municipal Government of Shanghai and CSSC. The parties will cooperate in two-stroke engine technology, marketing, sales and service activities.

Responsibility for servicing Wärtsilä’s two-stroke engines will remain with Wärtsilä Services through its global network to support customers in a more dedicated and efficient way. The joint venture parties will support Wärtsilä Services by providing global ship owners with complete solutions of advanced two-stroke technologies.

The closing of the transaction is subject to the required regulatory approvals, which are expected during the first quarter of 2015. The value of the transaction is approximately $62 million, although the financial impact of the deal will be dependent on the timing of the closing and certain related mechanisms. Wärtsilä said the deal will have a positive effect on its continuing operations.

The joint venture will be domiciled in Switzerland, and the head office will remain at the present two-stroke engine headquarters in Winterthur. The current two-stroke engine business management team will remain in place.

The joint venture will assume ownership of Wärtsilä’s two-stroke engine technology, and will continue to develop and promote sales of the engine portfolio with the full support of both partners.

According to Wärtsilä, the partnership’s objective is to combine the strengths of the two partners. The participation of CSSC, the largest shipbuilding conglomerate in China, will accelerate the company’s growth in important Asian markets, while retaining its position as an international supplier to the global shipping industry, while the partnership will enhance the position of Wärtsilä’s two-stroke technology in the marine engine market, and will provide a strong base for future investments in leading two-stroke technology and customer support.

“We have enjoyed good cooperation with CSSC for many years, and we are convinced that by joining forces we can better serve the needs of our global customers. CSSC shares our vision for the future of the two-stroke marine engine market, and we feel that this agreement will benefit both parties as well as the entire shipping sector. By enhancing the sales volume of Wärtsilä’s two-stroke engines, product development can be accelerated and critical new engine solutions can be brought to the market much faster than earlier,” said Jaakko Eskola, Senior Executive Vice President, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation.

“We are very pleased that this agreement has been made and we look forward to working closely with Wärtsilä in this joint venture project. Wärtsilä is a company that we admire as a technology leader, and as a supplier that has provided economic and environmental benefits to ship owners and operators through its high quality products,” said Wu Qiang, Vice President, CSSC.

Harnessing Wind Power for Auxiliary Propulsion

By Eric Haun at June 26, 2014 15:33
Filed Under: New Technology, Propulsion systems

Example of a bulk carrier with four Norsepower Rotor Sails on the port side


Finnish marine engineering company Norsepower Oy Ltd. announced this week that it will bring to the commercial maritime market an auxiliary wind propulsion solution aimed at maximizing cargo ship fuel efficiency, with first sea tests on a Finnish cargo ship slated to begin later this year.

Norsepower’s Rotor Sail Solution is an updated version of the Flettner rotor, a concept that dates back to Finnish engineer Sigurd Savonius in the early 1900s. The Flettner rotor gets its name from German engineer Anton Flettner, who was the first to build a ship which used spinning vertical cylinder rotor sails for propulsion.

Though the basis for this technology is not entirely new, Norsepower has improved upon the original concept with various improvements. Norsepower said its update uses improved technology, advanced materials and a leading-edge control system to allow the main engines to be throttled back when wind conditions are favorable, providing average fuel savings in the range of 5-30% and reduced emissions, while sustaining the power needed to maintain speed and voyage time.

The principle on which the Norsepower Rotor Sail operates is known as the Magnus Effect. When wind meets the spinning rotor sail, airflow is accelerated on one side of the rotor sail and is restricted on the opposite side. The resulting pressure difference creates a force that is perpendicular to the wind flow direction – a lift force. The circulatory flow, created here by the skin friction, is the same phenomenon that creates lift for an aircraft wing. The same principle applies to rotating spheres and cylinders.

The thrust induced by the Magnus Effect can be utilized in ship propulsion by placing a cylinder on the open deck of the vessel and by rotating it around its main, vertical axis. An electric drive system that is powered by the auxiliary grid in the vessel is used for rotation of the rotor sail. Norsepower claims that this solution has potential to be 10 times more efficient than a conventional sail because more lift is produced with a much smaller sail area.

The solution is mainly intended for use aboard tankers, bulk carriers and ro-ro vessels and can be installed on newbuilds or retrofitted to existing ships.

According to Tuomas Riski, CEO and partner of Norsepower Oy Ltd., there are presently more than 20,000 merchant vessels worldwide that are suitable for retrofit of the Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution and can benefit from its reduced fuel consumption.

Sea tests will begin later this year on Bore’s Finnish-flagged 9,700 dwt ro-ro ship M/V Estraden after the completion of land-based testing on an assembled prototype of the Norsepower Rotor Sail at the developer’s facility in Naantali, Finland.

“Norsepower aims at being the first company to have an industrially piloted and certified auxiliary wind propulsion product, which is delivered as a ready-made solution,” Riski explained. “The pilot project with Bore is a significant step on our path towards the market leadership of cargo vessel auxiliary wind propulsion systems.”

Håkan Modig, CEO of Bore Ltd. said, “Bore is in the forefront in using environmental and energy efficiency solutions for sustainable shipping. To pilot such a system on our vessel M/V Estraden is a natural step as we have supported the project from the start. Also, Bore is happy to encourage new entrepreneurs within this area in Finland and we are pleased to see that the project is ready for launch."

Essential parts of the Rotor Sail Solution include two or more rotor sail units installed on deck to deliver the forward thrust, wind and GPS sensors to provide the automation unit with real-time wind speed and direction information as well as ship speed and course data, control panel for the captain’s full control of the operation and performance of the Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution, an automation unit for optimized forward thrust of the rotor sails and a power supply from the grid of the vessel to the electric motors that power each rotor sail.

The required number of Norsepower Rotor Sails and the size of each sail are based on the size, speed and operating profile of each vessel. Norsepower Rotor Sails are available in three sizes with different heights of 18, 24 or 30 meters. The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is typically delivered as a full-service solution that includes both delivery and maintenance of the hardware and software components.

Norsepower said it has gathered nearly $3 million of funding since its establishment in 2012 for the development, testing and piloting of the Rotor Sail Solution. Main investors behind Norsepower are Lifeline Ventures Oy, Finnvera Oyj and Wate Oy; Norsepower is also funded by Tekes. Norsepower's website lists additional as partners ABB, Alandia Insurance, Beckhoff Automation GmbH, Bore, Elomatic, FY-Composites Oy, Lloyd's Register Group Ltd., LST Group, Paramet, SKF, SKS Group, Turku Repair Yard Ltd., VAF Instruments, Vaisala and VTT Technical Research Center.

 Operating principle of a Norsepower Rotor Sail


Magnus Effect

The Norsepower R&D site in Naantali, Finland


Layout of Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution on a generic Aframax-size tanker

All images courtesy Norsepower Oy Ltd.

Lower Fuel Consumption for Slow Steaming

By Eric Haun at May 30, 2014 12:50
Filed Under: General, Marine Diesel Engines, New Technology

Image: MHI-MME

The new “next-generation” UEC50LSH-Eco Marine Diesel Engine developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Engine Co., Ltd. (MHI-MME ) recently received its first order from Kobe Diesel Co., Ltd., a licensee of Mitsubishi UE engine technology located in Hyogo, Japan, to be installed on a 35k chemical tanker under constrction by Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co., Ltd.

The UEC50LSH-Eco is the first in MHI-MME’s new series of low-speed marine diesel engines being developed to follow its LSE series, and according to MHI-MME, the engine ensures advanced low-fuel-consumption and high efficiency, even during slow steaming.

MHI-MME said the new series comes as a response to market demand for engines that offer lower fuel consumption with optimized performance at lower engine speed for slow-steaming, as well as heightened compliance with emission standards. Thorough market research leads MHI-MME to believe the new engines will provide significant advantages in fuel efficiency achieving power output and engine speed optimized for bulk carriers (BC) such as Handymax BC, Supramax BC and Ultramax BC vessels, as well as medium size crude oil tankers, chemical tankers and other similar vessels. The new series will maximize fuel consumption savings by enabling vessel operators to benefit from the enhanced propulsion efficiency of long-stroke, low-speed engine operation.

The first UEC50LSH-Eco engine and chemical tanker are slated for completion in March and October of 2015, respectively.

Using this first order for a UEC50LSH-Eco engine as a springboard, MHI-MME and its licensees will continue to propose various innovative energy-saving and environmental solutions to enhance seagoing energy efficiency and environmental preservation efforts, then leading to additional technological advances to a wider range of new engine products, MHI-MME said.

EPA Offers $9 Million for Clean Diesel Projects

By Eric Haun at May 05, 2014 12:03
Filed Under:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made available $9 million in grant funding for nationwide clean diesel initiatives that aim to reduce diesel pollution and emissions exposure from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines.

The initiative was launched by the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA), which started in 2008 with the goal of improving air quality and health by reducing pollution throughout the United States. Though in most cases diesel engines are extraordinarily efficient and reliable, research has shown that their emission of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), not only harm the environment, but also pose a number of adverse health effects. The EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects.

Offering grant money for diesel emission reduction projects (exhaust control/reduction device installations, equipment upgrades and vehicle/engine replacement, to name a few options), the new clean diesel project will target the most cost-effective projects and fleets operating in areas designated as poor air quality areas. The EPA said it expects to award 10-20 assistance agreements across the U.S. transportation industry, including, of course, the marine sector. Other possible projects include school/transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, locomotives, etc.

Proposals must be submitted to the EPA before June 17, 2014.

The EPA said it has already awarded more than 600 DERA grants across the U.S., leading to the reduction of more than 250,000 tons of NOx and more than 14,000 tons of PM.

USS America Powered by GE Gas Turbines

By Eric Haun at April 17, 2014 15:44
Filed Under: Hybrid system

U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA6) recently complete Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico near HII’s Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard.

LHA6 is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name America, and is the first of the Navy’s new America-class amphibious assault ships.

America was built in Pascagoula, Miss. by Ingalls as part of a $2.4 billion fixed-price incentive contract for the detailed design and construction of LHA-6. The production decision was made in January 2006 and construction of LHA-6 began in December 2008.

GE Marine was chosen to provide the ship’s hybrid mechanical-electric propulsion system consisting of two LM2500+ gas turbines and two, 5,000 horsepower auxiliary propulsion motors, which allows the ship to reach speeds in excess of 20 knots.

“The selection of the LM2500+ gas turbines offers propulsion commonality for this first-in-class ship with the U.S. Navy’s USS Makin Island LHD 8 amphibious assault ship. The LHD 8 was the first U.S. Navy ship to use this hybrid propulsion system configuration, as well as the first military application of the LM2500+ gas turbine,” said Brien Bolsinger, Vice President, Marine Operations, GE Marine, Evendale, Ohio.

According to GE Marine, the hybrid propulsion system enables the ship's propellers to be driven either by the gas turbines or by the electric motors, which are powered from the ship service electrical system. The hybrid propulsion system allows the ship to operate in a more fuel efficient mode throughout its speed range. The LM2500+ gas turbines were manufactured at GE’s Evendale, Ohio, facility.

America-class ships are 844 feet long,106 feet wide and displace 44,971 long tons, and can accommodate a crew of 1,204 (102 officers) and 1,687 troops.

The keel-laying ceremony was held on July 17, 2009 with delivery originally planned for August 2012. The ship was launched on June 4, 2012, and christened on October 20 the same year. LH6 is scheduled for delivery in spring of 2014, and will be homeported at Naval Base San Diego.

“The newest America will provide presence and power projection as an integral part of joint and multinational maritime expeditionary forces,” the Navy said. “The ship will support Marine Corps aviation requirements across a wide spectrum of operations, from small-scale contingency operations as the centerpiece of a forward-deployed expeditionary strike group, to forcible entry missions in a major theater war.”

LHA 6 also has an extended hangar deck with two higher hangar bay areas, each fitted with an overhead crane for aircraft maintenance, the Navy explained. LHA 6 offers increased aviation fuel capacity, stowage for aviation parts and support equipment and will be able to embark and launch the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, cargo and attack helicopters, the AV-8B Harrier and the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) variant F-35B Lightning II Strike Fighter.

Photos courtesy GE Marine

CIC Results Underline Propulsion/Power Problems

By Eric Haun at April 03, 2014 15:04
Filed Under:

Photo: Paris MoU

Last summer, the maritime authorities of the Tokyo and Paris MOUs on Port State Control (PSC) announced the joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) to address compliance with aspects of SOLAS Chapter II-1/Construction – Structure, Subdivision and Stability, Machinery and Electrical Installations.

In launching the inspections initiative, which ran from September 1 to November 30, 2013, the MoUs said, “The scope of the CIC is the safety of propulsion and auxiliary machinery, especially the working order and maintenance of the main engines, auxiliary engines, auxiliary equipment and their related alarm systems.”

As results are processed, both the Paris and Tokyo MoUs are finding that maintaining propulsion and auxiliary machinery is an issue for many ships – perhaps to a greater degree than expected.

The Paris MoU’s preliminary CIC results show that a staggering 41% of all detentions directly resulted from deficiencies related to propulsion and auxiliary machinery, listing main problem areas as the main engine propulsion, cleanliness of the engine room and emergency source of power/emergency generator.

Preliminary CIC results from the Tokyo MoU similarly found that the most significant deficiencies found during the campaign were related power and propulsion machinery: emergency source of power and emergency lighting 25.4%, main and auxiliary boilers and boiler feed systems 17.3%, protective arrangements for machinery to minimize danger to persons with regard to moving parts, hot surfaces, electrical shock or other hazards 15.1% and cleanliness of the engine room 15%.

“Given the fact that 25% of the detentions were CIC-topic related during the campaign period, the preliminary results highlight that propulsion and auxiliary machinery installations on board remain a challenge to keep under control," the Tokyo MoU said.

In previous years, propulsion and machinery installation issues accounted on average for just 7% of the total number of deficiencies within the Tokyo and Paris MoU´s, ranking sixth in comparison with all the deficiencies by category.

And according to the Paris MoU, more than half (54%) of all CIC-topic related detentions involved ships of 20 years or more: The detention rate for these ships was 3.6%, compared to the overall rate 1.8%.

“This outcome illustrates that wear and tear of propulsion and auxiliary machinery remains an issue which should be adequately addressed by ship owners,” said Richard Schiferli, Secretary General of the Paris MoU on PSC.

The campaign results will be analyzed in greater detail before presentations to the PSC, after which a full report will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

New Medium-Speed Flexible Diesel Engine from Wärtsilä

By George Backwell at March 29, 2014 00:16
Filed Under: Marine Diesel Engines

The new Wärtsilä 46DF engine has been specifically developed for the high-output market and is fuel flexible as well as power flexible with 1045 kW or 1145 kW cylinder power options.

Compactness and reduced weight are the key attractions of the medium-speed engine, giving ship designers the option of increasing a new vessel’s revenue-earning capacity to get the most efficient propeller speed through mechanical  (reduction gearing), or through diesel-electric transmissions.

With the cruise ship, ferry,  LNG carrier and offshore vessel markets for this type of engine in mind, the 46F engine design is based on the well proven Wärtsilä 46F engine, popular since the early 2000s, but with the advantage of being able to use natural gas, heavy fuel oil (HFO), or marine diesel oil (MDO) bunker fuel.  

Engine details
The Wärtsilä 46DF extends Wärtsilä’s dual-fuel engine family by covering the power range from 6.2 MW to 18.3 MW at 600 rpm.

    •    Cylinder bore 460 mm
    •    Piston stroke 580 mm
    •    Cylinder output 1045/1145 kW/cyl
    •    Engine speed 600 rpm
    •    Mean effective pressure 21.7, 23.8 bar

Wärtsilä 46DF engine: Image courtesy of Wärtsilä

Fuel flexibility & automation
Wärtsilä’s proven dual-fuel technology enables a choice between gas and liquid fuels, with a switch between the two according to cost, availability, and local environmental regulations. Wärtsilä  say that the switch between fuel types is made without loss of power or speed. The engine automation adapts automatically to the relevant fuel selection, both in normal and emergency modes.

In gas mode, the natural gas is fed to the engine at low pressure. This facilitates a simpler and space saving engine room configuration, while providing easier and faster maintenance activities.

The engine’s gas piping is double-walled as standard, and the advanced integrated automation system enables enhanced safety and local monitoring, which leads to safer and more reliable operations under all conditions.The complete built-in automation minimizes the need for external controls, thus saving engine control room space.

The Wärtsilä 46DF is designed for a broad range of marine applications and the engine can be optimized for constant speed diesel electric operation. It also meets the need for direct drive main engine propulsion, operating at either constant speed or along a combinator curve.

Fuel savings for LNG carriers
For LNG carrier applications, the engine builders say that the 46DF can offer fuel savings of as much as 20 tons/day compared to the first introduced DF engines. With up to 14 fewer cylinders installed, the overall lifecycle installation costs are significantly and positively impacted by roughly 1000 USD/day.

Exhaust gas emissions
When operating in gas mode, the Wärtsilä 46DF engine is already compliant with IMO Tier III regulations without any secondary exhaust gas purification systems. In liquid fuel oil mode, the Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines are fully compliant with the IMO Tier II exhaust emission regulations set out in Annex VI of the MARPOL 73/78 convention.

 Source: Wärtsilä




High-Tech Propulsion for Russia's Newest LNG Carrier

By Eric Haun at March 28, 2014 17:23
Filed Under: Hybrid system, LNG fuel, MAN Diesel&Turbo, Propulsion systems

Photo: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Russia’s largest shipping company, Sovcomflot Group, recently took delivery of a newbuild LNG carrier from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The 300m vessel, Velikiy Novgorod, is impressive for a number of reasons: it is Arctic ice-classed and has a total gas load capacity of 170,200m3, but the ship is significant most notably for its diesel-electric, dual-fuel propulsion system, which consists of two MAN 8L51/60DF and two MAN 9L51/60DF engines, offering a total rated power of 34 MW.

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s German-built, low-emission propulsion system enables the ship to burn both gas and fuel oil, supplying power to electric motors. This offers a great deal of efficiency, especially when running in gas mode, while also providing a high degree of flexibility and redundancy.

“Key drivers for dual-fuel diesel-electric (DFDE) are its fuel economy and environmental friendliness, its reliability and flexibility due to multiengine concept and safety aspect due to low pressure gas injection, as well as its flexibility in terms of fuel selection (Boil of Gas, MGO, HFO),” a spokesperson from MAN Diesel & Turbo said, adding that these advantages have helped DFDE ship propulsion become “by far the leading concept used by LNG industry.”

The multiengine plant inherently includes a built-in backup, not only offering reliability, but also full maintainability at full service speeds and any time throughout the ship’s voyage.

MAN’s spokesperson added, “DFDE propulsion concept is leading to an LNGC with low complexity, easy to operate, highest efficiency and level of safety while meeting future IMI Tier III emission standards already today.”

In accordance with emerging trend toward dual fuel and alternative fuel LNG carriers, new vessel Velikiy Novgorod is the first ship in a series of five to be built by South Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The ship will reportedly operate for Gazprom under a long-term time-charter agreement with Sovcomflot, while the second ship is slated for delivery in fall 2014.

MAN Diesel & Turbo said the delivery of the LNG carrier newbuilding orders fall under its strategy of expanding its environmentally friendly dual-fuel engine technology into the marine sector, noting promising opportunities ahead in the LNG market. Factors such as rising costs of liquid fuel, reduction of gas prices to due shale gas, lower CO2 and NOx emissions when burning gas, exit out of nuclear power plants and entry into gas power plants have led the company to more actively follow pursuits in the LNG market.

“Gas consumption is on the rise,” MAN’s spokesperson said, “demand for LNG carriers and LNG propelled vessels will continue to grow.” And as the world demand of LNG grows, and more LNG terminals are being planned and constructed, the demand for transportation of LNG worldwide will increase accordingly.

While working on the Sovcomflot project, MAN Diesel & Turbo utilized its experience from working on its first 51/60DF reference project, delivered in 2010 to Spanish shipping line Elcano. The Castillo de Santisteban, which features five MAN 8L51/60DF units, has been operating globally since August 2010 without one day off-hired time on worldwide LNG trades, operating everyday with full propulsion power available, MAN said.

“The experiences won by running engines on board a LNG carrier in daily operation gave us valuable input regarding life time and operating sequences,” the MAN spokesperson said. “The environmental conditions were giving us a great feedback as they vary much more as the powerplant references we have in place. For the Sovcomflot vessels we could also introduce the so called ‘fuel sharing’ where the engines can run partly on gas as fuel and partly on HFO.”


Photo: MAN Diesel & Turbo

Marine Engine Drive Couplings or Keeping Pliable Offshore Brazil

By George Backwell at March 22, 2014 00:32
Filed Under: drive systems

Drive coupling specialists Vulkan, based in Germany, is supplying both fixed and flexible drive couplings to Brazil’s home-built burgeoning offshore energy sector, and interestingly is also involved in a project to develop a nuclear-powered submarine propulsion system for the Brazil Navy.
The diesel engine beats to the sound of a pulsating drum in its cycle giving rise to shaft vibration. Secondly, slight misalignments, in connected drive shafts also need to be smoothed out, and to achieve this, flexible couplings incorporate rubber-like polymer subrstances in their design – elastomers.

Vulcan explains that compound research in its R&D facility with highly specialized vulcanization technology has led to the development of an elastomer with considerably higher power density  – the 'Acotec' compound. This new compound distinguishes itself from other conventionally used materials not only through its enhanced tensile and tear strength and increased ultimate elongation, but also through a high thermal resistance and reduced ageing.

Vulkan’s latest project was to supply highly flexible couplings for Caterpillar gensets and electric motors, as well as torsionally rigid couplings for the waterjets of six drillships built for Petrobas in a Brazilian shipyard.

Image courtesy of Vulkan

Nuclear-powered submarine project
Brazil’s ambitious plan is to have six nuclear-powered submarines out of a total fleet of no less that twenty in the long term.  The Brazil Navy is tasked to protect the nation’s vast subsea energy resources in fields located up to 350 kilometres off the coast and at a depth of over 3,000 meters. Preliminary estimates suggest that up to 100 billion barrels of oil are to be found there.

The planned nuclear submarine will displace 6,000 tonnes and be 96.6 meters in length, with construction planned to take eleven years. It will be driven by a nuclear reactor developed at the Marine Research Centre Aramar.

A land prototype for the entire drive of the nuclear submarine is currently under construction, of equal size to the drive to be built later. Once this test phase has concluded, the entire submarine will be completely assembled for testing purposes in a multiple-story building. For the drive test rig, Vulcan says it has delivered in co-operation with its Brazil and Italy subsidiaries a RATO S 731 coupling and the elastic mounts.


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