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Caterpillar Marine Power Systems has delivered its first MaK M 46 DF dual-fuel marine engine to Japanese shipbuilder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

Following delivery, the new M 46 DF will be installed on a new cruise ship being built at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works for Carnival’s German cruise firm AIDA Cruises.

AIDA Cruises’ new vessel will also be powered by three conventionally-fuelled 12 M 43 C marine engines.

Caterpillar Marine Power Systems senior product definition engineer Detlef Kirste said: "The M 46 DF will provide AIDA with superior performance and operational flexibility without sacrificing power or reliability."

The new engine, which is capable of changing from gas to diesel mode during operation, allows reliable vessel operation in different geographical areas, whether using gas, marine diesel oil (MDO) or heavy fuel oil (HFO), Caterpillar said.

In gas mode, the M 46 DF offers optimised fuel consumption in compliance with IMO Tier III and EPA Tier 4 limits.

The gas system has been designed to enable retrofitting of existing M 43 C engines.

With a bore of 460mm and stroke of 610mm, the M 46 DF is intended for both electric drive propulsion systems and mechanical propulsion systems.

The new vessel will be the first of two new-generation cruise ships to be built by MHI for AIDA Cruises.

Each vessel will be capable of accommodating around 3,300 passengers, with scheduled delivery in March 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The new cruise ships will feature advanced environmental technologies such as the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS), which is expected to reduce fuel consumption by about 7% and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through the use of a layer of air bubbles blown from the vessel’s bottom.

Image: Caterpillar’s MaK M 46 DF dual fuel marine engine will be installed on AIDA’s cruise ship being built by MHI. Photo: Caterpillar.