Germany. Rolls-Royce Power Systems & city of Constance public utile put new MTU Gas engine to test in Ferry Car

Monday, 12 June 2017

Europe's first inland waterway passenger vessel with gas propulsion scheduled for service from 2019

Lake Constance public utility and engine-maker take industry lead

Cooperation agreement for two-year trial


From 2019, Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the City of Constance public utility are to begin testing the marine propulsion technology of the future on Lake Constance. This takes the form of a gas engine carrying the MTU brand. The public utility's new car ferry is to be equipped with twin 8-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines from MTU, each delivering 746 kW. This makes it the first inland waterway passenger vessel in Europe to be propelled by straightforward high-speed gas engines. The fuel will be LNG – Liquefied Natural Gas.

Representatives from Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the Constance public utility signed the cooperation agreement on Friday. It covers a two-year trial of the propulsion system in the ferry under continuous service conditions with both partners collating data.

“Gas engines for mobile applications form a core component of our Green and Hightech initiative. This flagship project is being realized on our local ferry service between the towns of Meersburg and Constance, which allows us to demonstrate the effectiveness of our new technology and set an international trend right on our doorstep. We firmly believe that in shipping, gas engines are set to play a pivotal role as a back-up to well-proven diesel engine technology,” said Andreas Schell, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

“The first ships were steam-powered, then diesel engines took over for roughly a century, but now gas engines are to determine the course of marine propulsion in the future,” said Norbert Reuter, head of the Constance public utility. “The shuttle service we provide between Constance and Meersburg saves some 80 million kilometres of road travel each year, and with this new ferry we are making our service even more ecologically sound.”


Compared to a diesel engine without exhaust gas aftertreatment, a gas engine emits no soot, no sulphur oxides, 90% fewer nitric oxides and 10% fewer greenhouse gases. This enables it to comply with the IMO III emissions standard that came into force last year, without the need for additional exhaust aftertreatment. It is also equal to the diesel engine in terms of performance and dynamics.


“This cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce Power Systems marks the continuation of our partnership which now spans over 30 years. During this time we have shared our commitment to reducing emissions harmful to the environment and to strengthening Lake Constance as a region,” underlined Norbert Reuter. “Thanks to this partnership, we are assuming a pioneering role in the region of Lake Constance and beyond, since no passenger vessel on the inland waterways of Europe has yet achieved the certification we are striving for.” As he signed the cooperation agreement, Andreas Schell also lauded the new chapter being opened, and said, “Here on Lake Constance we are joining forces to set a standard for others in the industry to follow, which will gain us international recognition in the world of domestic shipping.”


Rolls-Royce Power Systems first presented its MTU-brand gas engines for marine propulsion in July 2016, and its prototype, a 16-cylinder Series 4000 unit, has now successfully completed over 4,000 operating hours on the test stand. MTU's mobile gas engines for the future are attracting considerable interest worldwide and the first pre-series 4000 units for marine propulsion are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2017. They will be dispatched to the Strategic Marine shipyard in Vietnam where they will be installed in catamarans for Dutch operator Doeksen. The public utility of Constance is to be supplied with the first 8-cylinder version of this engine.

Press photos are available for download from

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

1. Rolls-Royce’s vision is to be the market-leader in high performance power systems where our engineering expertise, global reach and deep industry knowledge deliver outstanding customer relationships and solutions. We operate across five businesses: Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems.

2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 10,000 people. The product portfolio includes MTU-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry. Under the MTU Onsite Energy brand, the company markets diesel gensets for emergency, base load and peak load applications as well as cogeneration plants using gas engines for the combined generation of heat and power. Bergen medium-speed engines power ships and power generation applications. L’Orange completes the portfolio with fuel injection systems for large engines.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 12 June 2017 )