Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed "4UE-X3," a testing facility for full-scale low-speed, 2-stroke marine diesel engines, in the company's Kobe Shipyard and Machinery Works in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.
The facility will be used for testing of various technologies to respond to stringent environmental regulations that are expected to be applied to the shipping industry in the future. The facility will also be used for verification testing of "UEC-LSGi," a dual-fuel low-speed marine diesel that is capable of using natural gas for its fuel, which the company has recently been developing.
In celebrating the completion, the ceremony to unveil the facility took place today. The ceremony was attended by officials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and many guests from the shipping, shipbuilding and marine equipment industry, including companies, such as Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line). From MHI, Executive Vice President Masafumi Wani, Head of Power Systems, attended.
The 4-cylinder testing machine, with a cylinder bore of 600mm when completed, was developed based on the "Mitsubishi UEC60LSE-Eco," a low-speed marine diesel engine of the company. The testing machine will be used for verification of various technologies to comply with NOx (nitrogen oxide) emission regulations Tier III of IMO (International Maritime Organization), which will apply to the engine of ships to be newly built after 2016, requiring the reduction of NOx emission by 80%.
Regarding IMO NOx Tier III, MHI has already achieved a de-NOx rate of 80% in on-board test using an actual ship with the company's SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system*1 and has affirmed its prospect towards the commercialization of the system. Using the facility, a technology verification of EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system*2 will also be tested using actual size components.
In responding to the increasing needs for energy-saving operations and the reduction, various development activities, including new engine structures and technology, will be accelerated by using the testing facility. MHI is currently promoting "Project MEET (Mitsubishi Marine Energy & Environmental Technical Solution System)" to propose a package of solutions leveraging the company's wide range of marine machinery and technologies. The plans call for the facility to carry out verification of the technology of waste heat recovery, a pillar of the MEET initiative, including ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle)*3 technology.
Adjoining the testing facility, a training facility and practicing room have been set up, where disassembly and maintenance of diesel engine's major components can be carried out. The facilities will be used to provide operation and maintenance training to customers, too.
Going forward MHI, as one of the world's top three low-speed marine engine licensors, will carry on with its development activities of products and technologies that lead the industry, leveraging the newly completed testing facility, and will further enhance the presence as only manufacturer of that kind of engines in Japan.