'Vale Brasil' Juggernaut Iron-ore Ship En-route to China Powered by Wärtsilä

By George Backwell at May 28, 2011 21:37
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Vale Brasil, the world’s largest ore-carrier, this week en route from the NE coast of Brazil on her maiden voyage to Darien, China, is loaded with 391,000 tons of iron-ore. A juggernaut seen by market analyst Erik Nikolai Stavseth, of Arctic Securities ASA in Oslo, as one of a breed of ‘sea monsters’ (more of the same are on order by Brazilian mining conglomerate Vale) that will change the way iron-ore flows to satisfy China’s enormous appetite for the commodity. Why build such gigantic iron-ore carriers, bearing in mind the design challenges? Simply in order to make Brazilian iron-ore competitive in price with the Australian delivery to the Chinese market, despite the commodity having to travel almost double the ocean distance; Vale Brasil offers lower freight costs gained through economy of scale.The good news is that this ship will be flexing green power muscles with a carbon footprint of 34% less per tonne of cargo carried than traditional Capesize vessels &... [More]

Online Test of Lube Oil Keeps Check on Water Content

By George Backwell at February 20, 2011 21:56
Filed Under: General
"Oil and water don't mix", was oftentimes muttered to explain a certain amount of tension between deck and engine-room personnel in days long past when low-tech ships were manned with far more crew than today. However, the saying is not entirely true as far as lube oil is concerned, since it contains added chemical emulsifiers and detergent, allowing water to mix, or dissolve in this type of oil: only after saturation point is reached will water content indeed finally become separated and then the familiar saying becomes true. These additives to cylinder lube in slow-speed diesel engines are necessary to neutralize acidic products of combustion and also to keep metal surfaces clean.The latest generation of marine diesel engines has higher firing pressures and better combustion characteristics to achieve thermal efficiency, fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions even when burning low-end bunkers, but  successful operation depends upon the quality of the lubricant. High moisture ... [More]

Refineries May Foil IMO Aims to Cut SOx Emissions in Exhaust Gas

By George Backwell at January 31, 2011 00:31
Filed Under: General
'Refiners threaten anti-pollution efforts in shipping', blared the caption of a Reuters article by correspondents Kan and Fabi on 17, January 2011, then coincidentally, came news a couple of days later that Wärtsilä was to retrofit the Containerships Vll, 13,995 dwt,  (owned by Helsinki based Containerships Ltd. OY) with their diesel engine exhaust-gas scrubber. Wärtsilä's first ever installation of a commercial marine scrubber (to serve their W7L64 main diesel engine) is intended to enable the ship to meet impending targets for reduced exhaust gas emissions of SOx in Emission Control Areas's while continuing to burn diesel fuel with sulfur content above the set limits. Containerships Vll: Photo Credit, Jens Boldt Bunkers With Minimal Sulfur to Become Scarce? Experts in the field pronounce that SOx emissions in diesel engine exhaust gas‚ which mostly comprise sulphur dioxide with a small amount of sulphur trioxide‚ are a function of the amount ... [More]

Olympic & Sealandia – New Year Centenary Retrospective

By George Backwell at January 02, 2011 21:22
Filed Under: General
New Year may excuse a look back a century in time to recall what was happening in our area of interest during the year 1911. It was a year worth remembering, one in which Sealandia, the first ocean-going cargo ship with diesel engine propulsion was launched, and in the same year Olympic set out on her maiden voyage with propulsion shared between the new-wave steam turbine and the steam reciprocating engine.Joseph Conrad described the modern passenger ship as, "A marvel of applied science on its technical side, and an unpleasantly unsteady imitation of a Ritz Hotel in its social atmosphere." Conrad, compelling nautical author and sailing-ship era master mariner recorded this impression in his 'Ocean Travel' essay after a transatlantic passage he made in the nineteen twenties. In their separate ways both Olympic and Sealandia exemplified two such marvels of applied science as Conrad had in mind.SealandiaThe 6,800 dwt Selandia, the world's first ocean-going ship propelled by a diesel engi... [More]

Dual Fuel Marine Diesel Engines – LNG & MDO – the Way Ahead?

By George Backwell at November 09, 2010 08:05
Filed Under: General
Marine Diesel engines, thanks to enormous technological strides in the past few decades, have proven themselves powerful, reliable and efficient, to the extent that by year 2000 motor ships composed no less than 98% of the merchant fleet. Despite these plaudits, regulatory bodies continue to penalise the Diesel engine for exhaust gas emissions inherent in a combustion process using Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) fuel that almost always leaves by-products of oxides of nitrogen, unburned hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide in the exhaust smoke.Environmentalists have the expectation that technology will solve all political and economic problems, and will not be disappointed to hear that developers have succeeded in harnessing low emission Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), a  clean fuel with lean burn combustion characteristics, to power the engine invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1897. Many analysts confirm the recent prediction of Klaus Deleroi, Senior V-P, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, that: "When it come... [More]

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