Lake gas ship is a propulsion first

LNG ferry will look like predecessor Lodi LNG ferry will look like predecessor Lodi

A new ferry described as the first inland passenger ship in Europe with LNG gas engines, is being built in Germany for delivery in 2020, reports Tom Todd.

The 82.37m long and 13.4m wide ship has been ordered in sections at the Pella Sietas shipyard in Hamburg for the Stadtwerke Konstanz in southern Germany, Stadtwerke spokesman Josef Siebler told Maritime Journal.

By next spring the sections will be transported by waterway and road from Hamburg to Fussach/Austria on the Lake of Constance and assembled there. The completed ship will be delivered for operation from early summer 2020 on the Constance-Meersburg route, Siebler said.

Stadtwerke Konstanz, a public utility company, operates six ferries on the lake, which borders Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The ships carry 4.2 million passengers and about 1.5 million vehicles a year. The ships are all driven by engines built by the German engine concern MTU, which has its headquarters in Friedrichshafen on the lake and is part of Rolls Royce Power Systems.

Under a co-operation agreement between the owners and Rolls Royce Power Systems the new ferry will be the first to be equipped with two of MTU’s new 8-cylinder Series 4000 single fuel LNG gas engines producing 756kW apiece and driving two Voith Schneider propellers. The engines are based on MTU’s proven 4000 Series diesels for workboats and MTU said that when compared with diesels without exhaust after-treatment, they emit no soot particles, no sulphur oxides, 90% less NOx and 10% less greenhouse gases.

The Stadtwerke Konstanz will be the first customer to be supplied with the new engines and the co-operation agreement will cover two years of ship trials under continuous monitoring.

MTU said the new ship, which Siebler told Maritime Journal was costing about €17.7 million, will be the first inland waterway passenger vessel in Europe to be propelled by single-fuel, high-speed gas engines.

Siebler also reported that it will have the same external dimensions as its 2009 predecessor Lodi, which is driven by 8-cylinder MTU Series 4000 diesels. It will be capable of over 13 knots but will operate at a 12 knot timetable speed like Lodi. From a design and optical perspective it will look like Lodi except for an eight metre gas ventilation mast, he said

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