Supacat Group company, MDS Marine, has signed a contract with Marine Harvest Scotland for the first pre-production OXE Diesel, the first viable diesel outboard engine for the commercial sector.
Marine Harvest, who is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, is one of the world’s largest seafood producers and the largest producer of Atlantic Salmon with 55 farms in Scotland harvesting over 50,000 tonnes per annum. The 200HP OXE Diesel will be trialled on board a workboat at its salmon farm off the Island of Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides.
”OXE is the first diesel with the horsepower to meet our requirements and subject to the satisfactory outcome of the trial, enables Marine Harvest Scotland to benefit from significant cost and logistic advantages in the remote areas where Marine Harvest operates. In the Scottish Highlands and Islands petrol stations are scarce and prices are some of the highest in the UK”, said Colin Whitehead, Engineering Manager (South), Marine Harvest.
“Marine Harvest is a prestigious launch customer for OXE and confirms there is a strong demand for a powerful diesel engine from the commercial sector, where there are compelling benefits in terms of logistics, cost and safety. We are looking forward to receiving the first production units in Spring 2016 to be able to support further customer requirements”, said Jeremy Paul, General Manager of Hampshire based MDS Marine.
In addition to coastal fishing, aquaculture and ferry operations, other potential applications include survey work, emergency services, EEZ protection and other paramilitary operations.
OXE Diesel has the highest power density of any marine diesel and offers the range and performance to operate in the extreme environments required by commercial operators. It also allows outboard engines to be used where petrol engines are prohibited on safety grounds, such as for most naval applications. As well as offering lower maintenance and a longer service life, diesel offers lower fuel consumption and can be safely stored on site and above ground for easy access.
OXE Diesel incorporates a unique self-contained belt propulsor unit (S-BPU) that eliminates the traditional high maintenance bevel gears and transfer shafts by utilising the latest belt drive technology. It uses a conventional automotive engine block adapted for marine use. Unlike most outboards OXE is mounted horizontally, which improves reliability and reduces maintenance.
MDS Marine, part of Supacat Group’s growing marine business, provides a one-stop-shop in the 200-500hp inboard and outboard propulsion market for commercial, leisure and military users. It is the UK distributor for MarineDiesel Sweden’s VGT engines and for drive manufacturers, such as Konrad and MSA. Last year Supacat Group acquired Poole based BUKH Diesel UK Ltd and distributes BUKH A/S’ SOLAS approved engines and other products in the commercial, leisure and safety boat market.
Supacat Group’s marine and renewable energy business includes the revolutionary Supacat Multi-purpose Vessel 24 (SMV 24), which is operated by launch customer, James Fisher Marine Services. The Supacat Launch & Recovery System developed for the RNLI’s new Shannon Class Lifeboat provided the company’s springboard into marine engineering.