TCA77 Turbocharger Approaches 50,000-Hour Milestone in Rude Good Health

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Singapore service will mark decade of problem-free running

Originally launched in 2002, MAN Diesel & Turbo’s TCA (TurboCharger Axial) series has since been broadly adopted by the marine industry in countless applications. The very first TCA77 was installed aboard a Jo Tankers chemical tanker in 2003 – the ‘Jo Sequoia’ – powered by a MAN B&W 7S50MC-C two-stroke engine and is about to celebrate 10 years and 50,000 hours of trouble-free operation.

The 30,000-ton Jo Sequoia is one of six chemical tankers built around the turn of the millennium for Jo Tankers, the Bergen-based, leading provider of deep-sea transportation services for chemicals and other high value liquids such as petroleum products and edible oils. The state-of-the-art vessel possesses such features as separate pumping and venting systems for each tank, an on-board nitrogen plant for the production of inert gas to overlay any volatile cargoes, as well as luxurious living quarters. During its construction, and with Jo Tankers already having chosen a MAN B&W 7S50MC-C engine as prime mover, MAN Diesel & Turbo approached Jo Tankers in regard to installing its then-new TCA77 turbocharger.

Despite passing comprehensive factory tests, the TCA77 remained unproven in the field at that time, but this did not daunt Jo Tankers. The UK Managing Director, John Sibbald, said: “I think it’s because we’re not frightened of new technology.  However, I have to say, it’s been a success from the word go. We’ve had no break-downs at all. Basically, the turbocharger has proved itself.”

Over its working life, the TCA77 turbocharger has been regularly checked with a major service report compiled in January 2008 at 23,000 hours displaying only minor wear and tear. A recent review of the turbocharger’s maintenance paperwork revealed that changing the filters and checking the pipework were the typical comments over the past decade. In fact, the maintenance-friendly TCA77 design means that the turbocharger can be opened up so quickly that immobilising the ship for service frequently is minimal.

Sibbald said: “Operating experience basically has been that it’s worked so well you almost forget about it! The engine performs well with it and, when you look inside the engine today, it’s clean. It’s been running well, especially with the Alpha Lubricator, which we’ve retrofitted and that’s done a great deal of good for the engine. It’s a good piece of kit.”

The Jo Tanker Managing Director went on to describe the TCA77 as very robust with a solidly constructed blade that, despite some impacts, damage had been minimal.

John Sibbald concluded: “MAN Diesel & Turbo has stood by the promises it’s made. We allowed them to install a piece of equipment that was brand new and untried, and it’s stood the test of time and been a good partnership. I think we’ve learnt and they’ve learnt a lot as well – it’s been a fair exchange of experience.”

The Jo Sequoia is due to arrive in Singapore in January 2013 for its next major service when 50,000 operating hours and 10 years of running will officially be marked.

About Jo Tankers

Privately owned by the Odfjell family, Jo Tankers comprises the world’s third-largest chemical fleet and constructed its first tanker in the 1930s. Having originally carried sulphuric acid and other such cargoes in normal steel tanks, the company was the first to employ stainless steel tankers. It was also the first company to have the ISO 9000 quality approval standard and ISM (International Safety Management) certification on its ships. Jo Tankers builds its ships according to its own design and its vision is to be the first choice in the market and the best provider.