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British Polar Engines
Industry Engineering
Headquarters Glasgow, Scotland
Products Stationary and Marine Diesel Engines
Subsidiaries Homepage
Website Home page

British Polar Engines is a manufacturer of diesel engines based in Glasgow, Scotland. The company has over seventy years' experience in the manufacture and supply of spare parts for diesel engines. The engine and company take their name from the engine supplied to Amundsen's Fram, from which he conquered the South Pole.


The British Polar Engines Diesel Motors of the Oberon-class submarine HMS Ocelot (S17). The engines charged the batteries for the silent electric propulsion of the ship. HMS Ocelot is now a museum ship in Chatham Dockyard.

British Polar Engines manufactures, supplies and installs medium speed marine diesel engines and industrial generating sets. Their engines are in a variety of vessels, including ferries, warships, fishing boats and small tugs. They supply suitable replacement parts for a variety of engines, including all E, I, M, N and T ranges of Polar engines and former NOHAB and Wärtsilä engines. They also supply a full range of parts for the Admiralty Standard Range ASR1 engines found in Oberon-class submarines and Leopard- and Salisbury-class frigates.[1]

The works have been organised to provide a continuous flow of engine components through the machines to the assembly bays. Extended inspection, test bed and storage facilities contribute to increased output of finished engines. The company are specialists in the servicing and maintenance of diesel engines for all applications. It inspects, machines and overhauls all engine components, including crankshafts, cylinder heads, connecting rods, fuel equipment and engine pumps. There are in-house testing facilities for engines from 20 to 2,500 hp (15 to 1,864 kW) and generating sets up to 2 Megawatt.[1]

Polar diesel engines[edit]

The first Polar two-cycle engine was installed in a seagoing vessel in 1907. In 1911, the first motor vessel to cross the Atlantic, the Swan Hunter-built ore-carrier Toiler, was powered by a Polar engine.[2] At about the same time Roald Amundsen in the Fram was conquering the South Pole, and it is from that successful expedition that the engine derives its name.[1]

Other ships that have made history with Polar engines include the Girl Pat,[3] the rescue tugs HMS Bustler (W72), HMS Turmoil (W169) and Canadian sealer, MV Theron, chosen for the 1956 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

British Polar engines were of the two-cycle type, built under license from Nydqvist & Holm, Trollhättan, Sweden. Their development has continued over the years. The basic design with airless injection was introduced in 1928. It was an immediate success: reliable, economic, easy to manoeuvre and remarkably simple in design and construction. This early design has been developed and extended to a wide range of engine sizes covering powers from 300 to 4,000 bhp (220 to 2,980 kW) without supercharging.[1]

In 2000, the company purchased Kelvin Diesels, concentrating engine production at Helen Street in Glasgow.


  1. ^ a b c d "The British Polar Engine - some background". Palmerston North Electric Power Station. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  2. ^ Stapersma, D. "Vulcanus versus Selandia or The early history of the marine diesel engine". Dispuut Vulcanus. Retrieved 2010-08-01. [dead link]
  3. ^ "The Voyage of the Girl Pat" (pdf). Stour Sailing Club. Retrieved 2010-08-01. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Polar_Engines — Please support Wikipedia.
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6 news items

London South East (registration) (blog)
Tue, 29 Sep 2015 03:25:13 -0700

LONDON (Alliance News) - Associated British Engineering PLC on Tuesday said its 2015-16 financial year has "not started well" and its British Polar Engines Ltd unit has continued to see reduced sales from the oil and gas sector. The company said the ...

Aberdeen Press and Journal

Aberdeen Press and Journal
Mon, 16 Mar 2015 05:52:28 -0700

Residents also received funding from Aberdeenshire Council, shipping firm Teekay Petrojarl and British Polar Engines. The pathway will be constructed by Ballogie man James Reid. Ballogie parent and BCA committee member, Fiona Carter, said: “It's been ...

Scottish Daily Record

Scottish Daily Record
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 02:03:41 -0700

When I was a boy it was the red ash or even worse, the black ash that we had at the Puggy (the pitch owned by British Polar Engines in Govan). “When I ended up on the wrong end of a tackle I'd go home and my mum would scrub my leg to get the gravel out ...

Donside Piper and Herald

Donside Piper and Herald
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 05:22:30 -0700

Apart from the Awards for All grant, funding has come from Aberdeenshire Council, Teekay Petrojarl, British Polar Engines Ltd, BCA itself and in-kind contributions from Ballogie Estate. Marywell, located between Aboyne and Finzean, has the South ...
Glasgow Evening Times
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:03:20 -0700

The engine, with a few minor tweaks, was in production from 1904 to 1968, and many are still in regular service to this day. The company, now owned by British Polar Engines, is still going strong, and builds modern marine engines at its factory base in ...
The Economist (blog)
Thu, 24 Oct 2013 08:00:36 -0700

NOT long ago, Paul Krugman published a little blog post documenting some calculations he had run on trade growth in America from 1997 to 2011. Foreign trade soared over the period, growing more than twice as fast as output. Domestic trade, by contrast, ...

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