Rolls-Royce tech ordered for German LNG-powered multi-purpose vessels

Rolls-Royce has been contracted to supply the gas-shielded propulsion system for two new LNG-powered multi-purpose vessels being built for the German Federal Waterway and Shipping Administration by Abeking & Rasmussen. 

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce

The 95-m special vessels will be called out on the North and Baltic Seas to deal with accidents, fires or unable-to-maneuver vessels, Rolls-Royce said in its statement. The vessels are replacing their predecessors, the Scharhörn and Mellum, after 46 and 36 years of service respectively.

The two ships are powered by gas-electric propulsion systems based on four medium-speed Bergen units. Rolls-Royce will also provide gas protection solution developed to allow the engines to remain operational even if, for example, the ambient air has been contaminated with explosive gases following a gas tanker accident.

In the event of an emergency, the new ships, capable of speeds over 15 knots, will be at the accident scene in no more than two hours. Equipped with emergency towing capabilities with 145 tons bollard pull, chemical tanks, an explosion-proof safety and container cargo hold, as well as oil collection equipment such as skimmers, oil-holding tanks and a separation room, they are able to accomplish the most challenging missions, Rolls-Royce said.

The use of gas engines in this project follows the German government’s directive requiring a reduction in CO2 emissions from governmental vessels.

Enak Ferlemann, parliamentary state secretary to the federal minister of transport and digital infrastructure, said, “With the new LNG-powered ships that also carry the Blue Angel environmental certificate, we’re simultaneously ensuring top safety and top environmental standards in high-tech shipbuilding.”

By the end of 2020, a decision is to be made as to whether a third, identical vessel should be built. The two ordered so far are to go into service in 2023 and 2024.