First LNG tugboat with hybrid system goes into operation in Singapore with mtu gas engines from Rolls-Royce

24 May 2024

• Seatrium puts 65-tonne bollard pull tug into regular service
• Dynamic and reliable: Two 16-cylinder mtu gas engines meet demanding operating requirements
• mtu gas engines power eleven vessels worldwide

A new technological highlight has been in regular operation in the port of Singapore since mid-May 2024: JMS Sunshine, the world's first LNG tug powered by a hybrid system with mtu gas engines from Rolls-Royce. Seatrium Limited, a leading engineering solutions provider to the global offshore and marine industry is the designer, builder and operator of the new 29-metre, 65-tonne bollard pull tug. The Port of Singapore has committed to the Maritime R&D Roadmap 2030 with the aim of making it environmentally friendly and reducing energy consumption.

Rolls-Royce has supplied two 16-cylinder mtu Series 4000M55RN gas engines and the gas regulating unit (GRU) for the harbour tug. Chiam Toon Chong, Technical Superintendent, Seatrium Marine Services, acknowledged: "The handling of mtu engines is straight-forward, and user-friendly. Additionally, spare part availability and service support is excellent for the operation of tugs."

"We are proud that we were able to contribute to Seatrium's innovative project with our gas engines. The workboat market is one of our strategic business areas. The mtu engines were selected because they meet the demanding requirements of harbour tug operations - in terms of reliability, ease of operation, dynamic engine behaviour and low emissions," said Chew Xiang Yu, Head of Rolls-Royce Power Systems' civil marine business in Asia.

The mtu gas engines are already well below the limit values of current emission guidelines (such as IMO III) without exhaust gas aftertreatment. The particulate mass is below the detection limit and they emit only small quantities of nitrogen oxides.

The hybrid system is particularly suitable for the load profile of the harbour tug: it enables very precise manoeuvring and a strong bollard pull when the full power is used. To achieve maximum thrust, the total power of the two azimuth stern thrusters is 4000 kilowatts. This is achieved by adding to the 1492 kilowatts each supplied by the mtu gas engines and 500 kilowatts of electric motor power on each shaft. The tug is equipped with a battery capacity of 904 kilowatt hours. The battery power is used to absorb peak loads, for example during acceleration, to manoeuvre purely electrically in port and to supply the ship on board with electricity.

Image by Rolls-Royce Holdings plc.

11 ships worldwide sailing with mtu gas engines
Rolls-Royce's Power Systems division has already received orders for mtu gas engines as propulsion systems and on-board gensets for a total of eleven ships worldwide. These include ferries, tugs and government vessels. Two catamarans belonging to the Doeksen shipping company have been operating reliably with mtu gas engines on the North Sea in the Wadden Sea nature reserve since 2021. The Richmond ferry has been operating a commuter service on the Lake Constance drinking water reservoir in southern Germany since 2023. Operators and passengers are delighted: the engines are particularly quiet, produce no vibrations, no unpleasant odours and no black smoke.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
• Rolls-Royce develops and delivers complex power and propulsion solutions for safety-critical applications in the air, at sea and on land. Our products and service packages enable our customers to connect people, societies, cultures and economies together; they meet the growing need for power generation across multiple industries; and enable governments to equip their armed forces with the power to protect.
• Rolls-Royce has a presence in 48 countries and customers in more than 150, comprising over 250 commercial large aero engine customers, 160 armed forces and navies and approximately 40,000 active Power Systems customers. We are committed to becoming a net zero company by 2050 and we support our customers to do the same.
• Annual underlying revenue was £15.4bn in 2023, underlying operating profit was £1.6bn and free cash flow £1.3bn.
• Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is publicly traded company (LSE: RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69).
• Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs more than 10,500 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry. The portfolio also includes diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids. With its climate friendly technologies, Rolls-Royce Power Systems is helping to drive the energy transition.

Rolls-Royce Group plc press release