CSSC Marine Service Co (CMS), the equipment service subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp., has developed a solution for engine starting problems that can occur with the use of less viscous low sulphur marine fuels, such as those developed for IMO 2020 compliance.
CMS highlights that less viscous fuels require higher pumping pressure or engines can fail to start. Some two-stroke engines using common-rail injections are said to have reported problems reaching high enough fuel rail pressure due to the wear of fuel pumps, starting air problems or leaking injection control units. These concerns are amplified when using fuels that are lighter and less viscous that heavy fuel oil, such as the very low sulphur fuel oils (VLSFO) that are beginning to enter the bunker pool ahead of IMO 2020.
CMS’ solution is available for common-rail RT-Flex engines with five to seven cylinders of 48-60 mm bore deploying two or more fuel pumps. The Fuel Rail Booster pump upgrade is said to maintain fuel rail pressure required for a clean, first-time start.
The system draws on the same fuel pump as the engine’s fuel supply unit, offering redundancy and reducing vessels’ spare parts inventories. It also reduces starting air consumption, enables planned maintenance and can reduce maintenance costs and potentially extend time between overhauls.
CMS President Andrew Stump commented: ‘We developed this solution following reports received from our customers of engine starting failures encountered when using low sulphur fuels. Our Fuel Rail Booster pump upgrade service greatly reduces the risk of an emergency during manoeuvring and pays for itself if just one missed start is avoided.’
CMS has already installed the solution on several vessels and is delivering the retrofit through an expanded number of service stations worldwide. The company has opened three service hubs – in South Korea, Singapore and Hamburg – and five service stations since it was founded in 2017. It has previously stated its ambition to open six service hubs and 28 stations by 2020.
Service stations are located in China (Qingdao, Gaungzhou, Chengxi and Shanghai), South Korea, Singapore, Hamburg and Switzerland. CMS also has partner stations in countries including Brazil, Turkey, Poland, South Africa, Oman, Qatar, Dubai, US, New Zealand and Greece.