This engine definitively is an answer to the "will be" part of the headline for this panel discussion.
4. THE ENGINE MAKERS' ROLE
Sailing today means essentially coping with rising crude oil prices and stiffened emission legislation. The catalysator to make this equation possible is the engine indeed. This is what lurks behind the headline for this paper "Fuel quality and engine quality - it is the sum that counts". The consequence of this statement is that when the fuel quality changes so should the engine quality in order to keep the sum constant. The possibilities to do this are the major change today with certain implications for the future.
In the beginning the author's company had different engine qualities for different fuel qualities. A typical example was the fuel nozzle that were cooled for heavy fuel engines and uncooled for light fuel engines. Changing the engine quality for a change in fuel quality was definitively not a trivial task - although possible. Today this is not the case anymore. With the introduction of the common rail system on its engine the author's company has made one quality of engine valid for all fuel qualities - or to put it the other way around - one engine has several non-incremental qualities. All diesel engines of the author's company are either already utilising the common rail system or under construction to become utilising this technology.
5. THE ROLE OF FUEL STANDARDISATION
Thus being able to conform with the different fuel qualities the last item is to try to evaluate the benefits of fuel standardisation.
Two influential organisations when it comes to fuel standardisation are ISO and CIMAC. Whilst ISO, as the name implies, publishes full-fledged standardisation CIMAC has somewhat lower profile with the name "Recommendations" preceding the text The ISO Fuel Standards as well as the CIMAC Fuel Recommendations are today appearing on Internet indeed (either in their entirety or as summaries). The author's company is positive towards standardisation. Fuels according to ISO 8217 and CIMAC Fuel recommendation 11 have been thoroughly tested indeed. There is nothing to discuss regarding this matter. The problem is, however, that standardised fuels are more expensive just because they are standardised and thus subdued to tests and control. Therefore, as soon as there are standardised and recommended fuels on the market non-standardised and non-tested fuels will occur at substantially lower prices and consequently the shipowner want to run on these fuels - if possible. We will therefore always have to develop engines that can take inferior non-standardised fuels - also for the coming future.
There is always a talking about bad fuels. However, should this instead be pronounced bad engines? In the prospect of the coming changes of the propulsion machinery for ships we certainly will face a more complex fuel "geography" than ever. This means that the development of the engines together with the developing and emerging fuel market will be a main issue for all engine builders because in the final end it is the sum - engine plus fuel - that counts.