Caterpillar Engine Division has formed Caterpillar International Power Systems (CIPS), which will sell engines into the power generation market for applications up to 150 MWe. The company, established as a division of MaK Motoren, is based in Kiel, Germany. The intention is for CIPS to be able to act as a single source supplier, says John Gerretsen, managing director of CIPS.

Caterpillar intends to develop its role as a total solution supplier, providing equipment, financing, operation and maintenance support, and the ability to build, install and commission complete power stations.

The growth of a deregulated market means that there is greater demand for the single supplier approach. In Asia and South America, for example, there is a great demand for the single supplier solution. In particular, the ability to offer project finance is seen as a competitive advantage.

“The customer is looking for more”, said John Gerretsen. “Demands can be very varied. The experience of being able to meet these varied demands will be important.” CIPS has introduced two new engines to take advantage of the power generation market, the CM32 and the CM43. The CM32 is now in production in Kiel, with production of the CM43 due to begin in 1999.

The CM32 is a long-stroke, medium speed engine rated at 2.8 to 7.7 MWe. It is available in in-line (6-, 8- and 9-cylinders) and vee (12- and 16-cylinders) configurations. The in-line version of the CM32 is rated to deliver power in the range 2.8 to 4.3 MWe at 600rpm, with a stroke/bore ratio of 1.5. Vee versions of the CM32 engine delivers 5.5 to 7.7 MWe at an engine speed of 720rpm, with a stroke/bore ratio of 1.31.

The CM43 also comes in in-line and vee configurations. The in-line configuration has 6-, 7-, 8- or 9-cylinders, rated to deliver between 5.4 to 8.1 MWe at 500 rpm, while the vee configuration has 12-, 14-, 16 or 18-cylinders, which deliver between 10.8 to 16.2 MWe at 500 rpm. The engine has a stroke/bore ratio of 1.48. At 100 per cent output, fuel consumption is 175 g/kWh.

Gas engines CIPS is developing and extending both dual-fuel and 100 per cent gas-fired capability for its engines. The first gas engine pilot is due in late 1999, and will be tested in Kiel.

John Gerretsen said that the market for gas engines was for engines up to 15 MWe. Above that size, they are competing with gas turbines, which are more competitive at the higher sizes. However, demand for electricity will continue to rise throughout the world, and at a faster rate than the average increase of GNP. This will lead to a greater shift towards gas as the emphasis on cost effectiveness becomes ever more intense. This will result in an increased demand for gas engines.

In addition, there is increasing demand in some parts of the world for engines that are able to cope with interruptible gas supplies.

Another global trend is the increasing use of marginal fuels. This will be especially true in remote locations, such as Indonesia, where there is great pressure to make use of locally available fuel resources.

Another market trend is greater environmental awareness. This combination of using marginal fuels and still achieve lower emission levels is, according to John Gerretsen, an opportunity for manufacturers capable of meeting both. There are a number of ways in which these two objectives can be achieved. These include:

  • Good fuel economy. Caterpillar concentrated on developing the optimum shape of combustion chamber. For the CM32 range, at 100 per cent output, fuel consumption is 180 g/kWh.

  • Efficient combustion. Efficient combustion helps minimise exhaust emissions, even when burning heavy fuel.

  • Low oil consumption. A flame ring in the cylinder liner provides protection against bore polishing, ensuring consistently low lubricating oil consumption. At 100 per cent output, lub oil consumption is not greater than 0.7 g/kWh.

    Projects underway Among the projects that have been completed or are underway that involve CIPS, are:

  • A 38 MWe base load power plant for CENSA/AMFELS in Nicaragua.

  • Supplying 15.6 MWe of continuous power to the Durrat Al-Arus tourist city on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. The plant uses readily available distillate fuel.

  • Completion of a 73 MWe base power plant in Cebu City, Philippines. This facility is supported by ten 16-cylinder CM32 engines.

    Overcapacity The diesel market is marked by overcapacity, leading to a highly competitive situation. This has resulted in several mergers and acquisitions. John Gerretsen believes this trend will continue; there is still overcapacity, and there will therefore be more consolidations.

    Targets John Gerretsen says that the key issue as far as CIPS is concerned is whether or not it is able to grow its market share for medium speed power generation systems. “We will have a clear idea of how well we are proceeding in one year’s time.”