Friday, 17 August 2012

German company to overhaul frigate engines

A German multinational that acquired the company that made the engines in the navy’s frigates has inked a contract worth as much as $32 million to overhaul them.
MAN Diesel & Turbo took full control of French diesel engine manufacturer SEMT Pielstick in 2006. Pielstick built the engines for Canada’s 12 Halifax-class frigates.
“It’s just like a sole source supplier,” said Pierre Poulain, regional customer support manager for MAN Diesel & Turbo Canada Ltd.
“We don’t know what it’s going to be (worth) exactly, but the budget is up to that ($32-million) point.”
Tendering documents confirm MAN Diesel & Turbo Canada “is the sole licensed agent to perform work” on the frigate engines.
The documents also indicate the contract with MAN will stretch to March 31, 2014, with options to extend by three additional one-year periods.
Some of the work had already been done on three frigate engines by a company called Jaymar, but that contract has been terminated, Poulain said.
“Now MAN has got the contract on their own,” he said. “The first one we’re going to do directly is going to be the Charlottetown in the fall.”

He is in the process of hiring a handful of service technicians.
“The big difference is a lot of that work used to be done in France at the factory, and now we’re moving the capability <ellipsis> so a lot of that work will be able to be done locally in our own shop or through a subcontractor.”
In 2000, MAN also bought the British company Mirrlees Blackstone, Paxman and Ruston, which built the diesel engines on Canada’s Victoria-class submarines.
Now, besides doing work here on existing Canadian warships at its facility in Burnside Park and at its Canadian head office in Oakville, Ont., MAN’s hoping to get a piece of Irving Shipbuilding’s $25-billion, 30-year contract to build new warships for the Royal Canadian Navy.
“Definitely, it’s in the grand scheme of things,” Poulain said with a chuckle.
“We’ll definitely be one of the contenders in the bid to put engines on those vessels, and generator sets also.”
He has been working since April to set up an office in Halifax. Next week, the company is planning to schmooze navy brass, commercial customers and government funding agencies aboard Murphy’s — The Cable Wharf’s Harbour Queen I.
“We have our inauguration set for Monday night with a cruise and a reception and fireworks on the harbour,” Poulain said.
Asian Defence News

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