Page 8: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (October 2000)
Investment in Design
Danish Two-Stroke Bastion
As part of the drift of heavy industrial activity from Europe to the Far East, production of two-stroke diesel propul- sion machinery has become the province of the leading national players in new- build construction. However, close to the northern tip of Jutland, MAN
B&W's Alpha Diesel division has restored a substantial Danish capability for low-speed engine manufacturing, to the extent that its Frederikshavn works has emerged as a bastion of European two-stroke production.
The extension in the market reach of the already diversified plant, renowned for its integrated propulsion packages based on four-stroke drives, is a clear endorsement of the substantial invest- ments made by MAN B&W in dedicat- ed facilities in recent years. It is no less an expression of industrial and commer- cial will.
Since the preponderance of MC-series low-speed machinery designed by MAN
B&W's Danish arm is constructed by licensees, and predominantly those in the Far East, the Alpha operation has added value in providing a group-owned window into the production-related aspects of engine design. Moreover, it provides a basis for better honing practi- cal skills associated with the after-sales support function, an ever-more impor- tant aspect of business for engine licen- sors and makers.
After some years of building the mini- bore models in the MAN B&W two- stroke range, the Alpha factory made its debut in the 500 mm-bore category in
July 1998. when the first 6L50MC unit was rolled-out of the extended produc- tion facilities in Frederikshavn. The plant investment effectively raised the scope of the works to meet the propul- sion needs of vessels of Panamax size, in the case of single-engine installations, and larger tonnage where twin-engine layouts are involved. In fact, within the past two years. Alpha Diesel's deliveries have included the twin propulsion engines for two of the first three Millen- nium-class crude carriers under con- struction at Avondale. Each 30.030-bhp installation for the milestone tanker pro- gram comprises a pair of 7S50MC-C low-speed units.
Another link with the U.S. shipbuild- ing industry has now been established through an order for the same type of engine, a seven-cylinder S50MC-C, to be supplied to Friede Goldman Halter's
Pascagoula yard. This will provide the propulsive power for a 13,000-dwt pure car/truck carrier (PCTC) destined to operate in the U.S. West Coast/Hawaii trade under the banner of Pasha Hawaii
The S50MC-C also figures prominent- ly in a clutch of new orders from the
Turkish market, where Alpha claims to be the leading supplier of two-stroke propulsion plant. Significantly, most of the engines figure as part of complete propulsion package contracts. While other areas of the European diesel engine building industry have rational- ized the product flow from individual factories, MAN B&W has invested in a broader offering from Alpha, as con- cerns both its integrated propulsion sys- tems supply capability, as well as four- stroke and two-stroke engine lines.
Accordingly, the future for engineer- ing production at Frederikshavn clearly rests in a wide remit of engines, gear- boxes, controllable pitch propellers and monitoring systems.
Underscoring its growing international profile as a two-stroke producer, some 186,000-bhp of MAN B&W Alpha's total order intake of approximately 237.000-bhp of new engines between
January and August this year entailed two-stroke models.
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