9.1 MW Engines For Trimaran Ferries

Two new high-speed ferries for the Spanish ferry operator Fred. Olsen, S.A. are being designed and built by Australian shipyard Austal, which chose Rolls-Royce’s MTU 20-cylinder Series 8000 M71L engines and Kamewa waterjets.

The ferries will be 117-m trimarans and will be operated in the Canary Islands along with the world’s largest aluminum fast ferry in operation, the Benchijigua Express, which has been in service since 2005 and was also designed by Austal with MTU Series 8000 engines.

“In all, we’ve now built twelve high-speed ferries equipped with MTU Series 8000 engines, plus many other MTU-powered vessels,” said Ben Marland, vice president Sales and Marketing at Austal. “These units boast high power density, so when coupled with our unique trimaran hull form, you get super-efficient ferry performance—allowing customers to carry more passengers, cars or trucks at higher speeds and lower cost.”

Each of the vessels is powered by four Series 8000 engines with 9100 kW power output at 1150 r/min each. The trimarans will be able to accommodate more than 1100 passengers and up to 276 cars and travel at speeds of up to 38 knots. Both ferries will be delivered and undergo commissioning in 2020.

The order to MTU includes a maintenance agreement for a term of up to eight years and a maximum 24 000 operating hours. Fred. Olsen is also renewing the Benchijigua Express’ MTU maintenance agreement for the third time already. The first agreement was signed back in 2004 when the ferry was still under construction.

“The Benchijigua Express is a prestigious vessel in the world of fast ferries. It ticks all the boxes in terms of our high demands for power, speed and passenger satisfaction. On the back of this positive experience we have decided to install MTU engines in our new trimarans as well,” said Ivan Fernandez Martinez, technical manager at Fred. Olsen. “These engines will be in service round-the-clock, and we need the best possible efficiency and fuel consumption coupled with low levels of downtime. Since being launched into service back in 2005, the Benchijigua Express hasn’t had a single passage canceled by engine issues.”

Matthias Vogel, executive vice president, Service, Network & Business Development at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, concluded: “We’re delighted to have been chosen to supply the engines for Fred. Olsen’s new trimarans now as well. We will continue to provide superb customer service. Our MTU maintenance agreement is a very important tool in meeting these standards. We are also taking the financial risk for planned maintenance and unplanned downtime.”

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