The distinction of being the first buyer of MAN Diesel’s new 32/40PGI gas engine has fallen to Russian energy company Mosoblenergogas, a subsidiary of Gazprom, which supplies electricity and heat to companies in and around Moscow.

Mosoblenergogas ordered two of the engines in December, along with heat recovery equipment and exhaust gas flues, for installation in a combined heat and power plant to be located in Moscow. Delivery is scheduled for the end of 2007.

The innovative new engine, as described in Modern Power Systems, July 2006, pp 24-25, is a four stroke Otto cycle unit, that employs glow plugs, as found in diesel engines, rather than spark plugs. It aims, essentially, to combine the best of the Diesel and the Otto cycles – resulting in high power density and high efficiency, but accompanied by low NOx emissions.

The Chairman of MAN Diesel’s Executive Board, Dr Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, said he was “particularly pleased that we have succeeded in a relatively short space of time in convincing a prestigious customer such as Gazprom of the advantages of this product. We are confident that the gas engine 32/40PGI will be a success on the market.”

The abbreviation PGI stands for “performance gas injection” and the engine employs what MAN Diesel describes as a ‘completely new’ high-energy ignition system that operates without spark plugs.

The “highly-efficient conversion into electrical and thermal energy of the globally-available fuel natural gas is thus possible while at the same time producing only minimal emissions,” says the company.

MAN Diesel says there were essentially three reasons why the Gazprom subsidiary decided in favour of PGI engines: the innovative technology; the relatively short delivery time (12 months); and the company’s reputation with Gazprom and in Russia generally, where it has had a licensee for about 40 years.

The 12 cylinder version of the PGI engine produces about 5 MWe, while the 18 cylinder machine is rated at around 8 MWe. It is “aimed at applications in electrical power generation,” says MAN Diesel.

The first 32/40PGI has been operating in the combined heat and power plant at MAN Diesel’s Augsburg base since 2005 and provides electricity for the high-frequency molten metal furnaces in the foundry and thermal energy for space heating and production processes.

Several other PGI projects are at the planning stage around the world.

Gazprom is the first buyer of MAN’s new PGI Diesel/Otto combination