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HOERBIGER Valves Co., Ltd.

Shanghai, China

European safety engineering – made in China

China is about to become the new world shipyard power. In the next few years, it will assume South Korea’s number 1 position. HOERBIGER is a worldwide leading manufacturer of explosion relief valves for marine diesel engines. In order to take part in the growth of the maritime shipping industry in Asia, HOERBIGER built its own explosion relief valve plant in Changzhou, allowing the company to work more closely with the Chinese shipbuilding industry.

China’s shipbuilding industry blossoms in the heart of Shanghai, about six miles from the ultramodern Pudong financial center. Steel plates are transformed into new ocean-going giants. It is not unusual for ship owners from Europe, the USA, Japan, and China to place large orders of up to ten ships of a single type. Week after week, a new ocean-going vessel comes into being.

Four steep stairways below deck, the massive diesel engine is installed in the hull of one of these ships. The MAN engine is the size of a small house; the exhaust pipe is comparable to an industrial chimney. Bearing the Augsburg type plate of the MAN production site, the engine produces almost 10,000 kW or 13,600 horsepower. All ship diesel engines produced there are equipped with HOERBIGER pressure relief valves, as is this engine. The HOERBIGER relief valves, which contribute to preventing damage resulting from an oil mist explosion in the engine crankcase, were produced at HOERBIGER Ventilwerke GmbH & Co. KG in Vienna, Austria.

Soon European engine builders will increasingly produce marine diesel engines for the world market under license in China. In order to supply them as well as Chinese manufacturers locally, HOERBIGER Valves (Changzhou) Co. Ltd. was established in 2009. Ship engines today primarily use the EVO and EVS valve model series certified by the IACS (International Association of Classification Societies). They reliably meet the relevant UR M9 and M66 regulations. European safety engineering – made in China.

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A new interesting application for HOERBIGER relief valves is the protection from gas explosions in intake and exhaust pipes of gas-powered and dual-fuel engines. At present, the EVT and EVM series relief valves developed for these applications are employed both in stationary systems and in marine use. In the future, gas-powered and dual-fuel engines will gain in importance in the maritime field because they burn the fuel more environmentally friendly in comparison with conventional diesel engines. Many of these engine concepts already meet the International Maritime Organization’s IMO Tier III emissions regulations scheduled to take effect in 2016. The necessary safety on board is provided, amongst others, by HOERBIGER relief valves.

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Shipyards are considered a key segment of heavy industry. Both South Korea and China have massively expanded their capacities with government subsidies. Due to low shipyard labor costs compared to other markets worldwide, today ships for the transportation of bulk goods are built exclusively in Asia. Europe, with a world market share reduced to five percent, primarily builds special-purpose and cruise ships; engineering services, however, are provided worldwide.