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November 14, 2003

MTU power for 40 knot cat

Austal Ships has announced details of the propulsion system selected for the Auto Express 126.7 m cargo-vehicle-passenger trimaran currently under construction for Spanish ferry operator Fred. Olsen, SA.

Providing capacity for 1,350 passengers, over 340 cars and more than 400 freight lane-meters, the aluminum ferry will feature a quadruple diesel engine main machinery package coupled to a trio of waterjets. This will enable it achieve in excess of 40 knots loaded when it is delivered to the Canary Islands in the second half of 2004.

MTU Friedrichshafen will supply four 20V 8000 diesels, each rated to 8,200 kW but with the agreement to increase their output to 9,100 kW during the first quarter of 2006. The same model engines are also being used to power the Auto Express 86 catamaran that Austal is presently building for operation between the United States and Canada across Lake Ontario.

The engines are arranged in two separate engine rooms in the trimaran's central hull. Those in the aft engine room will each drive a Kamewa 125 SII steerable waterjet from Rolls-Royce while the two forward engines deliver their combined power to a Kamewa 180 BII booster waterjet. Each of the three drivelines features Renk transmissions, with lightweight composite shafts fitted between the waterjets and gearboxes and on the output shaft of the forward most engine.

Harbor maneuvering is an important consideration, and one of Fred. Olsen, SA's requirements was that the trimaran's performance in this regard be at least as good as that of the catamarans in its current Canary Islands fleet.

"Even though the Austal ferry is very much larger in terms of both length and capacity, our analysis shows that the trimaran's maneuvering characteristics will be better than those of the existing vessels," said James Bennett, Austal's Technical Manager.

This has been achieved by fitting two Ulstein Aquamaster UL601 azimuthing bow thrusters from Rolls-Royce. The ability to synchronize the thruster and waterjet control systems will give the captain maximum control to ensure fast, efficient and safe operation in port. Once in open water the electrically driven thrusters are retracted into the hull to reduce drag and thus maximize speed and efficiency.

The ship's electrical load will be met by three MTU 12V 2000 diesel generator sets.

Main Machinery Details

Main engines: 4 x MTU 20V 8000; 8,200kW at 1150rpm each

Gearboxes: 2 x Renk ASL65; 1 x Renk ASL 2X80

Waterjets: 2 x Kamewa 125 SII; 1 Kamewa 180 BII

Azimuthing bow thrusters: 2 x Ulstein Aquamaster UL601

Generator sets: 3 x MTU 12V 2000 M40

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