GE Turbines Will Power Two Coal-Fired Ships In Australian Trade

Coal-fired steamships are making a comeback on the high seas.

Bulkships, limited of Sydney, has ordered two 75,750-dwt bulk carriers to serve the Australian bauxite trade. The c o a l - f i r ed steamships will be powered by General Electric Company geared marine steam turbines.

The ships will haul bauxite between Weipa and Gladstone, Queensland, Australia — a distance of 1,250 miles. The ships will be chartered to Queensland Alumina, Limited. The first is scheduled to go into service during the last quarter of 1982.

Raymond J. Walsh, manager of marine sales at General Electric's Industrial and Marine Steam Turbine Division in Lynn, Mass., said the soaring cost of petroleum has significantly altered the economics of ship operation and ownership.

He said more and more shipowners and builders are investigating the possibility of reemploying coal-fired propulsion systems, which now offer superior economics on many of the world's trade routes.

The propulsion equipment for the Bulkships vessels will be supplied by General Electric and Cantieri Navali Reuniti, GE's manufacturing associate in Genoa, Italy. Each will be powered by a 19,000-shp geared marine steam turbine.

The selection of coal-fired propulsion systems was based on economic studies that indicate that at anticipated increases in the price of oil, the use of coal will produce substantial savings in operating costs of the vessels.

Other stories from September 1980 issue


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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.