Rolls-Royce waterjets to power Dubai water taxis

Saturday, 20 December 2008

A fleet of innovative water taxis powered by Rolls-Royce waterjets is being introduced in Dubai by the Road Transport Authority (RTA) to help improve transport infrastructure in the fast-growing United Arab Emirates state.

This is the first order for waterjets for water taxis in the UAE, where Rolls-Royce, a world leader in marine propulsion, is already a supplier of marine, aerospace and energy power systems.

The first of ten catamaran-based vessels, a modern version of the traditional Abra water taxi, is scheduled to carry out sea trials in August 2009. Deliveries are due to be completed by early 2010 and, if the water taxis prove successful, there is significant potential for future orders from the RTA.

Each water taxi is capable of more than 30 knots and will be able to carry 11 passengers. They will work around the Dubai Creek as well as the Dubai coast to provide a more modern, flexible and integrated public transport service.

Esa Uotinen, Rolls-Royce Regional Manager – Marine, said: “Waterjets are ideal for these taxis because they are a practical way of driving fast vessels and are most efficient at speeds of about 30 knots and upwards. They are lightweight, simple to maintain and provide excellent manoeuvrability.”

The taxis, to be built by the Damen shipyard in the Netherlands, will each have a pair of FF310 waterjets built by Rolls-Royce at Kokkola in Finland.

  1. Rolls-Royce has a growing presence in the Middle East, where it is playing an important role in the development of the region across all the its sectors - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. Marine products are in service throughout the commercial and naval sectors in the Middle East, with a number of UT Design offshore support vessels being delivered or on order. Fast patrol boats built by Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB) are powered by Rolls-Royce waterjets. Earlier this, ADSB and Rolls-Royce signed a services agreement covering waterjets in the region and a new Marine Service Facility will open soon in Dubai.
  3. The Rolls-Royce marine business employs 7,400 people in 34 countries with the main manufacturing centres being in the UK, the Nordic countries, the United States and increasingly Asia.
  4. The heart of a waterjet unit is a pump, usually driven by a shaft from a diesel engine or gas turbine, which draws in water through a sloping intake duct from under the boat’s hull, and discharges it through an aft-facing nozzle. The result is a thrust that drives the vessel forward. The pump nozzle discharges its jet of water into air, not below the surface. FF-series waterjets are made from strong corrosion-resistant materials. The pump is a single stage axial flow design, providing a high volume flow with good pulling thrust at low speeds.
  5. Rolls-Royce is working hard to improve the environmental impact of its products. Each year, in collaboration with its partners, it invests over £800 million on research and development, two thirds of which has the objective of reducing the environmental impact of its products. The primary technology investment area is aimed at reducing noise and emissions.

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