Ferry launches with gas-powered MTU 4000 engine

By Julian Buckley22 June 2023

The Richmond, docked at Staad ferry port The Richmond, docked at Staad ferry port (Photo: Rolls-Royce Power Systems)

Rolls-Royce Power Systems, which has its headquarters in Friedrichshafen, Germany, has started a testing programme using natural gas engines in a new ferry.

Friedrichshafen is located next to Lake Constance, which is where the ferries will be testing on a route between Meersburg and Konstanz.

The first of the test ferries, the recently-launched ‘Richmond’, is operated by Stadtwerke Konstanz. It is powered by two eight-cylinder Mtu Series 4000 gas engines from Rolls-Royce. Each has a power output of 748 kW.

The company states that the Richmond is the first inland ferry in Europe to use pure gas engines.

The 82.5 metre vessel has space for 700 passengers and 64 cars. A difference between the diesel-powered vessels is the eight-metre ventilation mast, part of the LNG ferry’s safety equipment.

Mtu 4000 gas engine operates with almost no vibration Mtu 4000 gas engine operates with almost no vibration (Photo: Rolls-Royce Power Systems)

According to Christoph Witte, technical manager at Stadtwerke Konstanz, the ship’s hull has been optimised to reduce drag so less energy is needed to propel the vessel.

The new propulsion system is reported to be well within the nitrogen oxide limits of the current IMO III emissions directive. This is without exhaust aftertreatment. The particulate mass is said to be ‘below the detection limit’.

Denise Kurtulus, vice president of Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “We are proud that Stadtwerke Konstanz has chosen Mtu engines for its latest ferry. We wish the shipping company a safe journey at all times and thank them for decades of intensive cooperation.”

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