PRESS RELEASE Commercial Marine

Rolls-Royce to supply mtu engines for 80-ton bollard pull tugboats in Brazil

Posted on November 04, 2021

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  • Supply agreement sets a new standard among mtu-powered tugboats in Latin America
  • Rolls-Royce will supply eight mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines for the new hybrid-propulsion tugs

Rolls-Royce has secured a significant contract to supply eight of its mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines for four 80-ton bollard pull tugboats to be built by Detroit Brasil, Ltda. and operated by Starnav Servicos Maritimos Ltda. The new tugs will feature a hybrid propulsion system, combining the mtu engines and mtu Blue Vision New Generation (BVNG) monitoring system with Z-drive thrusters, hybrid components and controls from Schottel, a manufacturer of propulsion and steering systems for ships and offshore applications.

While Rolls-Royce has supplied mtu Series 4000 engines to Detroit Brasil for several vessel projects in the past, this marks the first time Rolls-Royce will be supplying engines for 80-ton- bollard pull tugboats to the company and the first time that the high performance mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines which deliver 2560 kW at 1,800 rpm will be used in Latin America. Once the new tugs are entered into service, Starnav Serviços Marítimos Ltda. will run a total of 96 mtu Series 4000 engines in their fleet of harbor tugs and offshore vessels.

“The hybrid system featured on the  new  tugs will  allow for the ships’  thrusters and one of the two main engines to be connected for all light operation activities when  full power is not  required,  reducing the  operating hours for the main engines, leading to lower  overall maintenance costs,  better  fuel consumption  and lower  emissions compared to  a  traditional configuration,” said Maxwell Oliveira, General Manager of  Detroit Brasil Shipyard.  

“When  full propulsion power is needed, the connection between the two thrusters is disengaged and each engine is engaged to each thruster, reverting to a traditional,  direct-drive  propulsion system. The performance characteristics of the  mtu  16V 4000 M65L and its wide performance map allow  for  this  type  of hybrid propulsion concept  while keeping a considerable  level of  available reserve power on demand,” said Oliveira.

“This order is an important milestone in the launch of the next generation of mtu 4000 series engines, as the 16V 4000 M65L engine is currently the most powerful version of the new series and is being supplied to Latin America for the first time,” said Christof von Bank, Director Sales, Marine, Americas at Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems. “Further, this contract will reinforce our 20% share in the Brazilian tug boat market with mtu engines, a position we’ve earned over the past decade since installing our first Series 4000 in a tug in 2010.”

“The mtu 16V 4000 M65L engines offer the best engine performance for the hybrid propulsion concept being utilized in our new tugs,” said  Carlos Eduardo Pereira, CEO of  Starnav  Serviços  Marítimos  Ltda. “Having accumulated 2.5 million hours of operation with mtu engines in several  of our  harbor  tugs and platform supply vessels operated over the years,  mtu engines were a reliable choice  for these new ships.”

The mtu engines will be delivered in phases, with two delivered in August, two more in October, and two ship-sets consisting of two engines each for delivery in December.

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