Rolls-Royce marks azimuth thruster milestone

MAY 13, 2015 — At an event in Rauma, Finland, Rolls-Royce this week celebrated the 50 year anniversary of its first azimuth thruster delivery.

Rotating through 360 degrees and providing propulsion and maneuverability without the need for a rudder, azimuth thrusters are one of the Group's most successful marine products, powering and positioning some of the world's largest floating structures.

"Today marks a hugely significant milestone for our marine business and particularly the team here in Rauma, our center of excellence for large thruster production,"  said Rolls-Royce Chief Executive John Rishton. "Our customers operate in some of the most demanding conditions on the planet, and need not only high power, but consistently reliable power, and that's exactly what these thrusters deliver."

"This is a proud day for our business," said Mikael Makinen, President – Marine, Rolls-Royce. "From its early inception as a steerable propeller, the Rolls-Royce azimuth thruster range has developed into a world-leading portfolio today, providing high power for drillships, semi-submersible rigs and other vessels including tugs, icebreakers and offshore support vessels.

"Renowned for robust engineering and high reliability, our large azimuth thrusters are built to last. Often operating for five years at a time without any major maintenance, their success can be attributed to the expertise of our design and production teams, and decades of operating experience."

The Pioneering Spirit, the world's largest construction vessel, will be powered by twelve Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters, when it enters service in the North Sea, later this year.

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