Caigatetex member G & M Eurotex Ltd was selected by way of the company’s knowledge and capabilities within the marine classified generator field. The company was chosen to integrate marine classified radiator cooled diesel generator engines into lift and propulsion fans for an air cushioned barge (ACB). The world’s first self-propelled ACB which is due into service early in 2021.
The ACB is designed to carry 150 tons of cargo over shallow water, tidal flats, marshes, ice or tundra conditions at speeds over 6 knots.
The ACB hull at 55m x 24m has an air plenum box surrounding the hull, lift fans feed the skirted plenum underneath to lift the hull and propulsion fans, three variable pitch fans each having an airflow of 500m3/sec – backed up by two retractable marine propulsion units for water depths in excess of 5m depth provide the motion.
G&M Eurotex’s expertise was used to design and build bespoke bases to integrate the generator engines with the respective fans, with high precision detail and alignment criteria being met. The lift fans utilised 4 x QSK38 engines as did the propulsion fans. The lift fans were of centrifugal design whereas the propulsion fans were belt driven ducted axial, with variable pitch wooden based propeller blades. Outdoor testing of the units within a special rig was included in the requirements.
In addition 3 x QSM11 marine diesel auxiliary power sets were also supplied.
The project typified G&M Eurotex’s design and manufacturing capabilities for large value, design critical and certified applications.
All equipment was sourced and built in the UK with final sea trials due in the Caspean Sea.