Business / Technology

Breakthrough low speed Chinese diesel engine debuts

By Wang Ying ( Updated: 2015-12-01 17:32

A home-grown low speed diesel engine for maritime use with state-of-the-art technology was released on Tuesday at the biannual maritime event in Shanghai. The diesel engine, a result of consistent research and development over five years, is a completely self-owned brand product, and it is a breakthrough for China's shipbuilding industry in terms of a low speed diesel engine.

China's first low speed diesel engine was produced in the 1950s.

"China developed its first low speed diesel engine in 1958 in Shanghai, but gradually has had to rely on imported technology and patents since the 1970s for certain reasons," said Wu Chaohui, a senior engineer from China Shipbuilding Power Engineering Institute Co Ltd, the developer of the new generation of diesel engine.

The heavy reliance on imported technology has affected the research and development of China's home-grown brands. For example, the country has to pay several hundred million yuan for using foreign patents, and traditionally, engines account for 12 percent of total shipbuilding cost.

China resumed independent research and development of the marine diesel engine in 2010, when it became the world's largest shipbuilder by ship orders completed and received.

"More than 80 percent of the global trade was handled by ship, among which, 90 percent of the vessels were powered by a low speed diesel engine," said Wu, noting the significance of having self-owned patent in shipbuilding sector.

Continuous efforts will be made to develop a series of top-end, new generation diesel engines through both research and development by own as well as cooperation with international partners, Wu added.

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