Rolls-Royce Power Systems has signed a cooperation agreement with Germany's City of Constance public utility to permit the testing new marine propulsion technology on Lake Constance from 2019.

Two new MTU 8-cylinder Series 4000 gas engines will be installed on the public utility’s new car ferry on the Constance-Meersburg shuttle route in Germany as part of the deal. The engines have been designed to deliver 746kW of power each.

The two-year trial will see the Rolls-Royce propulsion system tested on-board the ferry under continuous service conditions.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is set to be used during the tests and both the partners will be responsible for collecting data.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems CEO Andreas Schell said: “Gas engines for mobile applications form a core component of our green and high-tech initiative.

“This flagship project is being realised 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.

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“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.”

"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."

Rolls-Royce further noted that unlike diesel engine, gas engine does not emit soot or sulphur oxides.

Gas engines also emit 90% fewer nitric oxides and 10% fewer greenhouse gases than diesel-based engine systems.

These characteristics have enabled the gas engines to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) III emissions standard that came into force last year, without the need for additional exhaust aftertreatment.

Rolls-Royce is set to deliver the first pre-series 4000 units for installation on Dutch operator Doeksen’s catamarans by end of this year.

Image: Signing of a cooperation contract between Rolls-Royce Power Systems and Constance utility. Photo: courtesy of ROLLS-ROYCE POWER SYSTEMS AG.