Rolls-Royce powers world's first gas-powered tug

Monday, 7 October 2013

Rolls-Royce has congratulated Sanmar Shipyard for the completion of the world's first gas powered tug, in a ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey, this weekend.

Sanmar has completed the first of two tugs for Norwegian customer Buksér og Berging, which each feature two Rolls-Royce Bergen C26:33L6PG engines fueled purely by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The first boat, named Borgøy, will enter service next month following a series of sea trials. It will be operated by Norwegian state oil company Statoil at its Kårstø gas terminal.

The Rolls-Royce propulsion package includes the gas tank and supply system and two of the latest design US35 azimuth thrusters that ensure the tugs have rapid manoeuvring and positioning capabilities - essential for tug operation.

Neil Gilliver, Rolls-Royce, President - Merchant, said: "The completion of this vessel is highly significant for Rolls-Royce, Sanmar Shipyard and Buksér og Berging. We are extremely proud to have worked together on this successful project which heralds a new era for tug boat propulsion.

"Gas is gaining in popularity as a maritime fuel, and its environmental credentials, combined with lower costs are seeing many operators select it over traditional fuels, across a range of ship types.

"Most of the world's tug fleets operate close to shore, where emissions regulations are most stringent. As LNG becomes more widely available, I have no doubt that many major ports will soon opt for this clean, lower cost and smoke-free fuel to power their tugs."

The combination of Rolls-Royce gas engines and the latest thruster design, mean that the Borgøy and its sister vessel's CO2 emissions, will be around 30 per cent lower than conventionally-fuelled tugs. They will also comply with all known future emission regulations.

Rolls-Royce Bergen engines are the leading pure gas, medium speed engines in the marine market. The company is also world leader in the supply of azimuth thrusters for tugs.

Rolls-Royce Group plc press release