Paul Fanning asks what MAN’s new engine launch tells us about its view of the cruise ship market
The launch of any new engine is obviously big news in Marine Propulsion’s market and particularly when it is of a new flagship design from one of the industry’s biggest names.
So it was with great anticipation that I arrived in Augsburg this week for the launch of MAN Diesel & Turbo’s new 45/60CR engine. The details of this new launch are too numerous to cover here, but suffice to say that it offers a major power boost and hugely improved fuel consumption over its predecessor, the 48/60 – as well as over competitors, according to MAN.
An interesting detail about the new launch, though, is where it is being aimed, with one of its key target markets being the cruise sector, where it is felt that its excellent fuel consumption will make it extremely popular. Indeed, MAN’s calculations, based on a representative load-profile of a cruise vessel, show that a ship operating with an MAN 45/60CR engine can enjoy a fuel-oil cost benefit of 5% to 12% in comparison with a vessel powered by an equivalent engine from other manufacturers.
The cruise market, of course, has been one of the few bright points in an otherwise gloomy picture for shipping in recent years. Growth here has been solid and sustained, meaning that designing an engine with this market in mind makes sense.
However, since the engine is not actually going to be available until 2020, what this launch says about MAN’s view of the cruise sector is interesting, since it suggests that the company has faith that the cruise boom – rather than slowing down – will continue for some time to come.