PRESS RELEASE Commercial Marine

Rolls-Royce extends TBO intervals of mtu Series 4000 engines for commercial marine application

Posted on December 01, 2021

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  • New engines of the latest generation of mtu Series 4000 can be operated for up to 96,000 hours until the first major overhaul  
  • Important contribution to resource conservation and reduction of life cycle costs
  • To be presented at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans (1 - 3 December, booth 2701)

Rolls-Royce is introducing significantly extended engine running times of up to 96,000 hours between overhauls (TBO) for the latest generation of its mtu Series 4000 engines for commercial marine. In general, all marine engines of the latest generation of mtu Series 4000 can now run for up to 25 years before they need a major overhaul, depending on the duration and intensity of use. That is seven years more between overhauls than previously recommended. The company thus not only makes an important contribution to sustainability and resource conservation, but also allows its customers to significantly reduce operating costs as well as enabling better plannability and higher availability of tugs, ferries and workboats. This is made possible by the almost legendary reliability and robustness that Series 4000 engines have been demonstrating for 25 years and Big Data analysis of tens of thousands of real engine data sets, which enables Rolls-Royce to accurately predict engine and component running times. The new TBO intervals and maintenance schedules, which Rolls-Royce will present for the first time at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans (1 to 3 December, booth 2701), apply to new engines of the type 4000 M05.  

Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: “Making the operation of commercial vessels more sustainable and climate-friendly is a key driver for us. That is why we are particularly pleased that our customers will be able to use their mtu engines in an even more resource-efficient way in the future. The longer intervals between major overhauls mean, among other things, that fewer parts have to be produced and the amount of travel among service personnel is significantly reduced, which is good for the climate. Lifecycle costs are reduced for our customers, helping them to compete in the tough marketplace.”  

Rolls-Royce’s first step is to adjust the TBO and maintenance intervals of the latest generation of Series 4000 (M05) for commercial marine. This is valid for all load profiles. Specifically, this means that, for example, the TBO of a 16V 4000 M65L tugboat engine in the lowest load profile for this application (“Tug low”) will be doubled to 54,000 hours. The longest TBO of all engines in the series is offered by the mtu engine of the type M55R with a running time of 96,000 hours in the lowest load profile.  

These impressive figures are possible due to the robustness and reliability of the mtu Series 4000, 25 years’ experience of operating these engines and careful analysis of vast amounts of data using the latest algorithms: Rolls-Royce has a database of more than 50,000 data sets from 18,000 engines in service. On this basis, Rolls-Royce can predict exactly which components can be operated for how long, so that replacement only takes place when it is necessary. This saves resources, working time and costs for the operator. Rolls-Royce is also planning to adapt the TBO intervals for the M03 and M04 engine generations of Series 4000 in the near future.

Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, with its product and solution brand mtu, is pioneering climate-friendly propulsion and power solutions in the marine application. It is currently transforming itself from an engine manufacturer to a provider of integrated sustainable solutions. With the sustainability programme “Net Zero at Power Systems”, Rolls-Royce Power Systems is taking concrete steps towards climate-neutral solutions. For example, starting in 2023, the company will certify its Series 2000 and 4000 engines for sustainable fuels such as e-diesel and second-generation biofuels, thus enabling climate-neutral operation in all applications. In addition to using sustainable fuels, the company is also working on new technologies such as CO2-free fuel cell systems.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030. We joined the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, and have committed to ensuring our new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030, and all products will be compatible with net zero by 2050.
  2. Rolls-Royce Power Systems is headquartered in Friedrichshafen in southern Germany and employs around 9,000 people. The product portfolio includes mtu-brand high-speed engines and propulsion systems for ships, power generation, heavy land, rail and defence vehicles and for the oil and gas industry as well as diesel and gas systems and battery containers for mission critical, standby and continuous power, combined generation of heat and power, and microgrids.  
  3. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £11.76 billion in 2020 and we invested £1.25 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  5. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE:RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI: 213800EC7997ZBLZJH69).


Rolf Behrens Spokesman Trade Media Mobile Power Solutions
+49 7541 90 3461