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November 11, 2010

New inland waterways ship concept

The Mercurius Shipping Group, located in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands, has developed a new concept for a clean inland waterways cargo ship.

Called the "M-factor," the vessel is powered by Volvo Penta marine diesel engines both for propulsion and for the bow thruster.

The ship is 85 meters long, 9.6 meter wide and has a load capacity of 1,500 tons, and is a relatively small ship with a very large cargo hold.

The size of the ship and its limited height enables it to sail in almost all European inland waterways. As it is mainly designed for the smaller channels and rivers it will use a 750 hp Volvo Penta D16-750 hp as propulsion engine. Usually this size of ship would be equipped with an engine producing at least 1,000 hp.

Mercurius has been searching for the most fuel efficient engine at part load. In this application, the engine will be operating at part load for at least 80-90 percent of running time.

On part load, the Volvo Penta D16 outperforms the competition in this power range and was thus selected as main propulsion engine.

To reduce emissions, the engine will be equipped with the STT Emtec SCR and POC filter system as a standard even though this is still not required by legislation. The SCR system cuts NOx by 70 to 90 percent and the POC filter reduces the PM by 40 percent.

The prototype will be built at Mercurius Shipping's own shipyard in Begej and will be ready in May 2011. The plans are to build at least 4-6 ships yearly, depending on the success of this unit. A contract for the second ship has already been given to the Volvo Penta Center Terlouw in Rotterdam. It will deliver the main propulsion engine D16-750, Twin Disk gearbox TD-5170 and SCR system as a complete package to the Mercurius Shipping Group.

A Volvo Penta D12-400 will be installed as a thruster engine. The thruster will be delivered as a complete package including engine from the local manufacturer, Verhaar thruster systems.

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