Rolls-Royce for Scottish ferries

Rolls-Royce for Scottish ferries

Rolls-Royce has won two contracts to supply thrusters for Western Ferries and Orkney Ferries in Scotland.

The global power systems company will be providing a pair of Rolls-Royce US 105 CRP thrusters to each of two 50-metre, double-ended, Western Ferries car vessels, which will be operating on the Firth of Clyde, across the Dunoon to Gourock route.

The thrusters rotate at 360 degrees, propelling and manoeuvring the vessels, so are suited to quick turn-round ferry operations. Technical director at Western Ferries Graeme Fletcher said: “Previous experience of these thrusters has shown them to be unsurpassed in tractability and efficiency. They will provide our skippers with outstanding control and manoeuvring characteristics that cannot be achieved by other designs.”

Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead is building the new vessels, which will be larger, faster and more fuel-efficient than those they are replacing. “Machinery selection for these new ferries was a joint effort and the Rolls-Royce thrusters were chosen because of the good operating experience, improved fuel consumption and manoeuvrability achieved on Western Ferries’ existing vessels Sound of Shuna and Sound Of Scarba,” Cammell Laird commercial director Rob McBurney said.

The Orkney Ferries-operated MV Hoy Head is also being equipped with Rolls-Royce thrusters as part of a major refit to take place at the Birkenhead yard. The project involves updating and lengthening the vessel to increase vehicle capacity while at the same time installing the new propulsion system.

James Stockan, chair of the Orkney Islands Council development and infrastructure committee said: “I believe that lengthening of the vessel and providing a new propulsion system, will provide stimulus to the local economy and prove to be of social and economic benefit to residents and visitors to Orkney’s South Isles Head.”

The MV Hoy Head is expected to be operating its usual route between the Orkney mainland and the Islands of Hoy and Flotta, next year.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Cherie Rowlands
17 August 2012

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