CUTLINE: From left, Stefan Ballier, senior manager of ferry operations at the Constance utility; Norbert Reuter, head of the city of Constance utility company; Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems; and Matthias Vogel, vice president of sales at Rolls-Royce Power Systems sign the agreement in mid-June.
German company Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the city of Constance public utility plan to begin testing in 2019 MTU gas engines on a car ferry on Lake Constance. The ferry will be equipped with twin 8-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines, each delivering 746 kW. This would be the first inland waterway passenger vessel in Europe to be propelled by straightforward high-speed gas engines. The fuel will be liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The cooperation agreement covers a two-year trial of the propulsion system under continuous service conditions with both partners collating data.
“We firmly believe that in shipping, gas engines are set to play a pivotal role as a back-up to well-proven diesel engine technology,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
“The first ships were steam-powered, then diesel engines took over for roughly a century, but now gas engines are to determine the course of marine propulsion in the future,” said Norbert Reuter, head of the Constance public utility.
Compared to a diesel engine without exhaust gas aftertreatment, a gas engine emits no soot, no sulphur oxides, 90 percent fewer nitric oxides and 10 percent fewer greenhouse gases. This enables it to comply with the IMO III emissions standard that came into force last year, without the need for additional exhaust aftertreatment. It is also equal to the diesel engine in terms of performance and dynamics, the company said in a statement.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems first presented its MTU-brand gas engines for marine propulsion in July 2016, and its prototype, a 16-cylinder Series 4000 unit, has now completed more than 4,000 operating hours on the test stand. MTU’s first pre-series 4000 units for marine propulsion are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2017. They will be dispatched to the Strategic Marine shipyard in Vietnam where they will be installed in catamarans for Dutch operator Doeksen. The public utility of Constance is to be supplied with the first 8-cylinder version of this engine.