STORY Commercial Marine

Rolls-Royce powers record-breaking vessel in China

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Julia Rieß, Images by Aulong Shipbuilding

BeiYou26 is a national record-breaker in more ways than one. 70.6 m long and 17 m wide, the vessel can accommodate 1,200 passengers and is the largest ferry with aluminum hull ever to have been built in China. The vessel is powered by 16-cylinder mtu-brand Series 4000 units.
Weizhou Island, China
The Chinese island Weizhou covers some 25 km2 and is the biggest volcanic island in China. It has some 16,000 inhabitants and is a favorite destination for short holiday breaks. Since July 2020, the largest catamaran ferry ever built in China has been shuttling islanders and tourists between Weizhou and the mainland and is propelled by powerful mtu Series 4000 units.  


Weizhou Island lies in the Gulf of Beibu in the north-west South China Sea. From Beihai in Guangxi province on the mainland, the sea route stretches some 35 km south towards the island.   Since 22 July 2020, this journey can be made more quickly and comfortably than ever a new high-speed catamaran that plys between the mainland and the island.  

The vessel is a national record-breaker in more ways than one. 70.6 m long and 17 m wide, the vessel can accommodate 1,200 passengers and is the largest ferry with aluminum hull ever to have been built in China. Equipped with unique features such as leather massage seats and a special area for domestic pets, the BeiYou 26 is unrivalled when it comes to comfort and convenience.   Besides the comfort, passengers also appreciate the speed at which they reach their destination.   Shipyard Aulong Shipbuilding opted for 16-cylinder mtu-brand Series 4000 units from Rolls-Royce, capable of speeds up to 34 knots or 63 km/h. These units count among the most renowned high-speed engines ever, as Richard Wang, head of Marine Sales at mtu China explained: “These engines also carry the name 'ironmen' due to their incredible robustness,” he explained. Series 4000 units are famed for their power, reliability and long service life. Another major advantage they boast are low operating costs.  

Shipyard Aulong Shipbuilding opted for 16-cylinder mtu-brand Series 4000 units from Rolls-Royce, capable of speeds up to 34 knots or 63 km/h.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems brand mtu successful in China  

mtu-brand engines have won the confidence of Chinese shipping companies. At the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) exhibition in November 2020, the Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems signed a partnership agreement with the Jianglong and Aulog shipyards. Jianglong Shipyard is the leading Chinese shipbuilder of high-speed vessels with aluminum hulls. Aulong Shipyard is shipyard with international design focus on high speed ferry and long-standing business partner of Rolls-Royce Power Systems and Jianglong. The new strategic partnership focuses on mtu Series 2000 and 4000 marine engines.  

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