April 26, 2014 3:50 am JST

Mitsubishi Heavy, shipbuilders to craft fuel-saving engine

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has joined with a group of shipbuilders to develop an engine that can improve a ship's overall fuel efficiency by roughly 10%. Their goal is to have the engine ready by 2018.

     On Monday, group subsidiary Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Engine will take a 4% equity position in Maritime Innovation Japan, which was set up by such firms as Tsuneishi Shipbuilding to develop energy-saving technologies for the industry.

     Mitsubishi Heavy is already working with Maritime Innovation on engine development, but in making the equity investment, the partners will now step up their collaborative efforts.

     The two will work together to enhance efficiency throughout the system, such as by studying the design of the piping that delivers cold air to the engine and the placement of superchargers. They will also develop peripheral equipment to put energy to use without waste, for example, by using the hot engine exhaust for electricity generation and climate control.

     The shipbuilders participating in Maritime Innovation, including Oshima Shipbuilding and Imabari Shipbuilding, will have preferential access to the new engine. By improving the energy profiles of their ships, they will be able to compete more effectively against rivals from China and South Korea.

     Mitsubishi Heavy intends to use the engine to steal the thunder from Germany's MAN Diesel & Turbo, the largest marine engine builder in the world, which is said to be working on an engine that can boost fuel efficiency by around 5%.

(Nikkei)

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