PICTURES: Top 5 most powerful marine engines
The largest marine engines in the world power the largest ships, specifically container ships as they have grown astronomically in size, but are still required to sustain fairly high service speeds, unlike oil tankers or bulkers, which typically steam a few knots slower than the average container ship. When we say ‘large’ we’re not referring to the size of the engine itself, but rather the amount of power it produces.
On the following pages is our ranking of the world’s top 5 marine engines in terms of kW output at the time of writing. We have included only main engines (eg, the largest single engines by power, rather than the most powerful propulsion systems, which can be made up of several large engines – such as the nine MAN beasts that powered QE2).
MAN B&W 11S90ME-C (10.2) - MSC Oscar
MSC Oscar’s main engine is the fuel-efficient MAN B&W 11S90ME-C (10.2), which has a height of 15.5m, a length of 25m and a width of 11m. The engine has a maximum continuous rating of 62,500kW at 82.2 rpm and a normal continuous rating of 56,250kW at 79.4rpm. MSC Oscar’s power plant is unusual in that the fifth largest engine in the world powers the world’s largest container ship.
MAN B&W 11S90ME-C9.2 - CMA CGM Kerguelen
CMA CGM Kerguelen has main engine MAN B&W 11S90ME-C9.2, which has total output power of 87,900 hp at 78 rpm (which equates to 65,547 kW). The engineering on board it equivalent to that of 10 A380 Airbus engines and the power developed is enough for a town of 16,000 people.
MAN B&W 12S90ME-C Mark 9.2 - CSCL Globe
CSCL Globe, is the world’s second largest container ship, she is propelled by a MAN B&W 12S90ME-C Mark 9.2 low-speed two-stroke engine that produces 69,720 kW at 84 rpm and is 56 feet (17.2 m) tall and 193.5 feet (59m) long.
MAN 12K98MC-C - CSCL Star
The CSCL Star is unusual in that she is in a class of the sixth largest container ships ever built and yet is powered by the MAN 12K98MC-C diesel engine, which develops a maximum power of 72,240kW, making it the second most powerful in the world. The propulsion system enables the ship to sail at speeds up to 26-knots, making her one of the fastest VLCSs in the world.
Wartsila-Sulzer RT-Flex96c - Emma Maersk
Emma Maersk and her sister ships have long since been replaced by the Triple E vessels within Maersk Line’s fleet, but these ships’ Wartsila-Sulzer RT-Flex96c diesel engines, producing 80,080 kW and standing 13.5m high and 25.6m long remain the beasts of the seas in terms of marine propulsion.
This turbocharged two-stroke low-speed engine is also extremely fuel efficient thanks to “rail technology” that has done away with the traditional camshaft, chain gear, fuel pumps and hydraulic actuators, thereby providing better performance, lower revolutions per minute, lower fuel consumption, and lower emissions.