Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has won contracts to supply thrusters for two Scottish operators, Western Ferries and Orkney Ferries.
Western Ferries recently announced the construction of two new ferries which will operate on the Dunoon to Gourock route, across the Firth of Clyde. The 50-metre, double ended car ferries will each be equipped with a pair of Rolls-Royce Aquamaster US 105 CRP thrusters, which rotate through 360 degrees and are particularly suited to the quick turn-round operations of these vessels.
Graeme Fletcher, Technical Director at Western Ferries, 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. Our customers and staff will appreciate the enhanced quality and safety provided by these new vessels on our busy route."
The ferries are being built by the Cammell Laird ship yard in Birkenhead and will be larger, faster and more fuel efficient than the vessels they replace.
Rob McBurney, Commercial Director - Cammell Laird said, "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."
The MV Hoy Head, operated by Orkney Ferries, will be equipped with Rolls-Royce thrusters, as part of a major refit also taking place at the Cammell Laird shipyard. The work will involve updating and lengthening the ship to increase vehicle capacity and the installation of a new propulsion system.
James Stockan, Chair of the Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “It has been a long term aspiration of the Council to meet increasing demands on our South Isles ferry service, by alleviating congestion and providing increased opportunity to travel at the most convenient times.
"This is excellent news for the communities served by the Hoy Head."
The MV Hoy Head will return to service next year, operating its usual route between the Orkney mainland and the Islands of Hoy and Flotta.