Hybrid tugboats to receive Rolls-Royce mtu engines

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Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract to supply eight of its mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines for four 80-ton bollard pull tugboats. The vessels’ hybrid propulsion systems will combine the Rolls-Royce mtu engines with the Blue Vision New Generation monitoring system that features Z-drive thrusters, hybrid components and controls made by Schottel. The engines can deliver 2,560kW at 1,800rpm.

“The hybrid system featured on the new tugs will allow for the ships’ thrusters and one of the two main engines to be connected for all light operation activities when full power is not required, reducing the operating hours for the main engines, leading to lower overall maintenance costs, better fuel consumption and lower emissions compared with a traditional configuration,” explained Maxwell Oliveira, general manager of Detroit Brasil Shipyard, where the tugboats will be built.

“When full propulsion power is needed, the connection between the two thrusters is disengaged and each engine is engaged to each thruster, reverting to a traditional, direct-drive propulsion system,” continued Oliveira. “The performance characteristics of the mtu 16V 4000 M65L and its wide performance map allow for this type of hybrid propulsion concept while keeping a considerable level of available reserve power on demand.”

The tugboats will be operated by Starnav Serviços Marítimos. This is the first time that Rolls-Royce has supplied engines to the company for 80-ton bollard pull tugboats. It is also the first time that the high-performance mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines will be used in Latin America.

Rolls-Royce will deliver the mtu engines in phases. Two were delivered in August 2021 and two more in October 2021. Two shipsets consisting of two engines each are scheduled for delivery in December 2021.

When the new tugs are completed and enter service, Starnav Serviços Marítimos will be running 96 mtu Series 4000 engines in the company’s fleet of harbor tugs and offshore vessels.

“The mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines offer the best engine performance for the hybrid propulsion concept being utilized in our new tugs,” said Carlos Eduardo Pereira, CEO of Starnav Serviços Marítimos. “Having accumulated 2.5 million hours of operation with mtu engines in several of our harbor tugs and platform supply vessels operated over the years, mtu engines were a reliable choice for these new ships.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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