Monday, 22 September, 2008

Castrol Competition takes centre stage at MERI

The country’s only competition extravaganza in the maritime sector took centre stage at the Marine Engineering & Research Institute, Mumbai on September 16, 2008. Keenly contested by cadets from leading marine engineering institutes the contest was organised by the MERI, Mumbai in collaboration with M/s. Castrol India Ltd. Over the years the annual event has seen the competition gaining in popularity drawing in larger numbers of participants and spectators.

The chief guest and chief judge for the occasion Mr. M.V. Ramamurthy, president of Reliance Shipping lauded the participants who made excellent presentations of Technical Papers. All the judges noted the high standard of the presentations and expressed happiness over the quality of the papers. The contest has seen a marked improvement over the previous years besides greater participation. However, they insisted that the cadets should put in more efforts to keep improving the presentations further.

This year’s annual event saw cadets from M.E.R.I., Mumbai - G.M.E. & B.Sc (Maritime Science) cadets, Tolani Maritime Institute, Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training (MANET), Samudra Institute of Maritime Studies participated in the competition. Five papers had been short-listed at an elimination round held a week earlier.

These were:
Latest developments in 2 stroke marine engines;
Hazards encountered by double hull tanker;
Impact of low sulphur fuel on shipping Industry;
Steps taken by Engine manufacturers to reduce emission from Sea-going ships;
Bio-degradable lubricants - future of Marine Lubrication needs.

It was the group led by cadet Durgesh Kumar Singh (B.Sc.-76) that won the First Prize of Rs 40,000/- their paper titled ‘Steps taken by Engine Manufacturers to reduce emission fro sea going ships’. They informed that the objective of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was to bring down sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides fumes. These were being achieved by modifying fuel injection systems, improving the nozzle system design, using common rail technology, alpha cylinder lubricators, and Alpha adaptive cylinder oil control system. Also reduction was being achieved by exhaust gas recirculation, and by fuel water emulsion.

The Second prize of Rs 32,000/- was won by the group led by cadet Krishnendra Pratap Singh (G-1773) for their paper on ‘Bio-degradable lubricants - future of Marine Lubrication needs. They highlighted the fact that bio-lubricants would be in great demand in the near future. This will escalate the demand of oil seeds. Farming of oil seed will substitute food grains such as wheat and rice due to high demand and profit margin association with them.

The group led by cadet Aravindhan R. (G-1791) won the third prize of Rs 24,000 for their paper ‘Hazards encountered by double hull tankers’. They pointed out that although they are regarded as an answer to all problems of transport of oil at sea without pollution and have some advantage over single hull however, their design is important to ensure better maintenance and operation. Because of their complex design and structure they are potentially more susceptible to problems caused due to poor maintenance and operation as rust and other factors can play havoc.

The fourth prize of Rs 14,000 was collected by the Group led by cadet Shah Kishan Ashok (G-1794) for their paper on ‘Latest developments in two-stroke engines.” They
propounded the theory that ‘two-stroke’ would be the most economical possibility for converting chemical fuel energy into mechanical energy. Due to the electronic control system and a degree of freedom there were now considerably wider spectrums of injection design. When taking all possibilities of combustion process design into consideration, the injection system is one of the most important components of the engine and the engine is no longer functional.

The two Consolation Prizes went to the cadets from Maharashtra Academy of Naval Education & Training (MANET) led by cadet C. Michael and BMS (MERI, Mumbai) led by cadet Sudhanshu Kishore (B.Sc.-124). M/s. Castrol India Limited announced an amount of Rs 1,38,000/- towards the prizes. During the prize distribution Seacom Engineering College informed that it was offering consolation prize of Rs 10,000/-

The group of cadet C. Michael presented their paper on ‘Impact of low sulphur fuel on shipping industry’. They contended that while using low sulphur fuel oil in marine engines care should be taken to ensure that TBN and feed rate of cylinder oil should be according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Getting the entire industry to switch over to distillate fuel will cause disruption to oil supplies. Application of suitable technology will ensure that residual fuel can be successfully used in the future. However, they suggested sea water scrubbing but could not support this contention while fielding questions from the audience.

The three judges from the industry, besides Mr. M. V. Ramamurthy, were Mr. Gurdeep S. Taluja from Castrol India Ltd. and Mr. V. P. Datar. The deputy director of M.E.R.I., Mumbai, Mr. M. K. Ghosh in his speech mentioned that the event is open to all marine institutes other than MERI and gave his wishful thought that it will one day become an all India competition with more participants from the industry.

Mr. A.N.S. Neti and Mr. M. Ballabh, senior faculty members of M.E.R.I., Mumbai, conducted the function. There was a large number of industry representative and cadets from the Institute of Marine Engineers and other institutes as well as from the Ex-cadets Association present at the occasion.

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