The Anglo Belgian Corporation ( ABC ) is a Belgian manufacturer of medium speed diesel engines, primarily for the marine market, as well as stationary and locomotive engines.



On 26 October 1912 the Anglo Belgian corporation was founded; the company was to manufacture the new semi-diesel engines . One of the investors was the Onghena company, a manufacturer of gas engines, which would contribute part of their factory space and machinery towards the production of the new machines. Eight investors including Onghena each contributed 500,000 Belgian francs towards the enterprise; a ninth investor the company Carels Brothers contributed diesel engine manufacturing licenses in exchange for a 5% return of the company's turnover. [3]

The name of the new company was Anglo Belgian Company , the Anglo indicating that some of the investment capital was to come from Britain, however World War I intervened and no capital was to come from England, but the name was kept. Initial production included engines ranging from 6 to 40 horsepower . [3] After the end of the First World War (during which the factory had been occupied and its machines taken to Germany) the company began normal production again. [4] The company survived the Great Depression due to its customer base supplying engines for the relatively stable fishing and shipping industries. Later in the interwar period the company obtained a license from Paxman Ricardo for the production of 1500 rpm engines. [5]


During the Second World War production continued at a reduced level; also during this period prototypes for a medium speed 4 stoke single acting engine were produced, codenamed DU (diesel universal). [6] In the decades after the second world war the DU engine was developed and modified: 5-, 6- and 8-cylinder versions were produced, turbocharged versions (codenamed DUX) with 50% as much power as the equivalent non turbocharged version were made, as were naturally aspirated versions, including turbocharged and intercooled versions. The company was prosperous up to the 1970s, and its engines used in ships, locomotives (usually shunting type) and for electricity generation. [7]

1970-1989 - Financial difficulties

During the 1970s the company's financial situation became unfavourable, exacerbated by the loss of one major market, the Belgian Congo had become independent in 1960 and could not afford new engines. In 1973 license for the manufacture of high-speed engines was obtained from SEMT Pielstick , additionally the company developed an entirely new engine codenamed DZC operating at 1000 rpm. [7] By 1979 the company needed capital, negotiations with private investors failed and the company went bankrupt. [7] The company restarted under new management and with new investors (the companies Pauwels , Batibo , and the Belgian Shipbuilding Corporation as well as with government investment) and was renamed Anglo Belgian Corporation . Problems with production versions of the DZC engine required further investment to fix and the shareholders lost confidence in the company, refusing an increase in capital. As a consequence they passed their shares to Ogepar and Luxembourg based holding company allowing a capital raise of 75,000,000 Belgian francs . [8]


The modified DZC engine was a success, as was its association with Ogepar . Despite the collapse of the Belgian shipbuilding industry new markets were found including overseas power plants. In 1997 design of a DZC engine in V formation was begun, and the power range of the DZC series extended to 5,000 hp (3,700 kW) [9]


As of 2010 the company produces 3-, 6- and 8-cylinder DX engines in power ranges from 138 to 883 kW, inline 6- and 8-cylinder DZ engines from 864 to 1768 kW, and 12- and 16-cylinder V engines (V-DZC) of rated power either 2650 kW or 3536 kW. [10]

The engines are found in use on large river barges such as those found on the Rhine , coastal freighters, fishing boats, ferries, tugboats (which typically use 2 engines), and other ships. Other applications include electricity generation, and pumping engines, engines for cranes, and locomotives (including the SNCB Class 77 and Voith Maxima ), as well as dual fuel (gas/oil) DXD and DXZ engines. [2]