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With thousands of engines still in operation that were produced before emissions regulations were in effect, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems and Caterpillar Emissions Solutions have been working for nearly two years to design engine retrofit kits.
These kits will allow customers to upgrade Mechanical Unit Injector (MUI) engines to reduce emissions to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated levels. The EPA is now focusing on unregulated or prior-tier engines through the Marine Remanufacture Program.
Caterpillar is announcing plans to launch a series of kits to upgrade MUI engines to either EPA Tier 1 emissions level or EPA Tier 2 emissions level. Through an overhaul, the kits will allow marine engine operators of Cat MUI engines to comply with the EPA Marine Remanufacturing Program.
“Caterpillar has been recognised for years as the most reliable engine manufacturer in the industry,” says P. Jaime Tetrault, Product Support Director for Caterpillar Marine Power Systems. “This means that our customers are using engines day in and day out for decades with market leading quality and durability. While this is a great value to the customer, Caterpillar is committed to ensuring that customers have the opportunity to continue their reliable operations, comply with regulatory requirements, and reduce their overall environmental footprint.”
Testing of the engine retrofit kits has been taking place throughout the United States supported in part by government grants. This money has supported three private marine operators in the overhaul, upgrade, and testing of their engines all in verification of emissions reductions. The vessel operators have reported positive responses to the engines by reducing smoke and emissions output with positive impacts on vessel performance.
“Despite the variety of technologies which could be used to affect the requisite reductions in particulate matter, Caterpillar believes the engine retrofit option will prove most beneficial to our customers,” notes Terry Sears, Caterpillar Emissions Solutions Product Manager. “By upgrading a mechanical engine to an electronic engine, the operator will gain smoother operation, easier diagnostics, and improved fuel economy above and beyond reducing emissions. The ease of installation is also another win because the entire retrofit can be accomplished in hull without major modification of the design or structure of the vessel.”
The development of the upgrade kits underscores the focus from Caterpillar on helping customers reach their sustainable development goals. Caterpillar Marine Power Systems has long been a leader in environmental issues, allowing customers to focus on business progress.