Rolls-Royce to provide propulsion system for Alaska-class ferries

15 January 2015 (Last Updated January 15th, 2015 18:30)

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has selected Rolls-Royce to deliver a new efficient propulsion system for its future Alaska-class ferries.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has selected Rolls-Royce to deliver a new efficient propulsion system for its future Alaska-class ferries.

In September 2014, the State of Alaska signed a contract with ship builder Vigor Alaska to build two new Alaska-class day ferries.

The vessels will be constructed at Vigor Shipyards in Ketchikan, Alaska, and will feature a range of Rolls-Royce technology, including reduction gearboxes, tunnel thrusters and steering gears.

The construction contract and costs for building the ferries is valued at $120m budget amount.

"It represents the first time a ferry operator in North America will utilise our Promas integrated propeller and rudder system."

Rolls-Royce North America Commercial Marine senior vice-president Tor-Gunnar Hovig said: "We are delighted to work with the Alaska Marine Highway System and Vigor Shipyards to provide a robust and fuel efficient propulsion system for these new ferries that will benefit the state and people of Alaska for many decades to come.

"What is also exciting about this contract is that it represents the first time a ferry operator in North America will utilise our Promas integrated propeller and rudder system, which improves the propulsion performance by means of increasing the efficiency, resulting in lower fuel consumption compared to traditional systems."

The 280ft-long, new-build ferry will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and 53 standard vehicles.

The Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion system integrates controllable pitch propellers and rudders and it will increase fuel efficiency and enhance manoeuvrability, the company stated.

The design and estimating process for the project is a collaborative effort between Vigor Alaska, Alaska Department of Transportation, as well as Alaska Marine Highway System and Elliot Bay Design Group.