No practice-based data available
“In theory, we knew it would work,” said Richter. Nevertheless, commissioning in Tibet was still a tense process. “Here on site, the engines have to operate at 5,500 meters and we had no relevant practice-based data for that,” he explained. At these altitudes, engines from our competitors have had problems with serious power loss and heavy smoke. Engine damage is frequent. That does not happen with MTU engines.”
First engines performed well
In their very first tests in Tibet a year ago, MTU engines demonstrated their outstanding altitude-performance capability. Chinese construction machine manufacturer XCMG tested and commissioned a vehicle powered by a 16-cylinder MTU Series 2000 engine. The company has already ordered a further ten engines (due for delivery at the start of 2019) and for the last few months another Chinese construction machinery company NHL has been running altitude trials in Tibet involving two MTU Type 12V 2000 C66 mining engines. “So far, the results have been very impressive,” said Richter.
Haul trucks from both companies are now in full, regular daily operation carrying 90 and 110 ton loads of copper and spoil at the mine. Their crews may quickly get out of breath in the thin air but their MTU engines definitely do not. Capable of traveling uphill significantly faster than other trucks at the mine, the MTU-powered vehicles deliver greater productivity than other haul trucks at the site.