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China debuts 49,680-horsepower diesel engine

Dalian: Another key part of China's shipbuilding jigsaw has been completed. A diesel main engine of 49,680 horsepower, or 36,550 kilowatts, for super-heavy ships, has been successfully made in Dalian, the first time that a Chinese company has built such a large ship main engine with single-engine power approaching 50,000 horsepower.

Made by Dalian Marine Diesel Works, under the arms of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp, the new record-making diesel main engine is 15.6-meter long, 12.4-meter high and weighs 1,253 tons.

It will be equipped at a 4,250-box container ship and gets China in on the small clique building engines, led by the Koreans, Germans, Japanese and Finns.

Not long ago, the same Dalian builder also presented a 34,650-horsepower diesel engine for a VLCC.

Currently, Dalian Marine Diesel Works holds contracts for making 150 units of main engines, involving total value of over CNY 6.5bn - a backlog that sees it busy through till 2010.

Main engines - or the potential lack of them - has oft been sited as the Achilles Heel in China's march to the top of the shipbuilding pile.  [04/07/07]

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