A German manufacturer is entering the UK pilot boat market with a hefty order of 18 diesel engines for boats in build over the next 5 years.

MAN Engines is providing the inline six-cylinder engines for nine pilot boats for the Goodchild Marine Services Ltd. shipyard in Norfolk, UK.

This is the first time MAN Engines will provide the engines for new pilot boats manufactured by shipyards in the UK. Three pairs of MAN D2676 LE425 engines, each with an output of 478 kW (650 hp), will be installed in 17-metre-long ORC-171 pilot boats. Six more pairs of MAN D2676 LE474 engines, each with a lower output of 368 kW (500 hp), will be installed in the smaller ORC-136 boat class; these boats are 13 metres long. Both engine types meet the latest strict IMO Tier III emissions standard. The nine boats will be built over a period of five years and put to use all over the UK. The first of them will be put to use in the Humber region by the port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) as early as 2021.

MAN Engines is already established in numerous markets with its twelve-cylinder V-engines for the larger classes of pilot boats. However, in the United Kingdom, MAN’s engines are mostly used in support ships for wind farms and in ferries. "Deciding on an engine manufacturer for a series of pilot boats is always a balance between costs, engine design, efficiency, customer service and environmental sustainability," says Stephen Pierce, General Manager of Goodchild Marine Services Ltd. "With MAN Engines’ products and local support from their importer for the UK and Ireland, PME Power Systems Group Ltd., we are able to make use of their many years of practical expertise and direct service on site."

MAN Engines’ commercial marine range is set to offer engines with power outputs ranging from 290 to 882kW (394 to 1,200hp) in the EU Stage V emission standard available from the end of 2021. For EPA Tier 4 Commercial, outputs ranging from 662 to 1,066kW (900 to 1,450hp) are already available. In the IMO Tier III emission standard, outputs range from 290 to 1,213kW (394 to 1,650hp).

By Jake Frith