Lake Victoria ferry gets new Schottel propulsion system

Written by Nick Blenkey
Ferry got new Schottel propulsion system

1985-built M/V Sengerema has been upgraded with new Schottel RudderPropeller propulsion system

With an area of over 23,000 square miles, Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa—and a vital resource for the 30 million people who live on its shores.

Every day, almost 40 ferries travel across the lake between Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. One of these is the M/V Sengerema. Built in 1985, the vessel transports passengers and cars across the southern part of Lake Victoria seven days a week.

After more than 30 years of use, the ferry’s existing propulsion units reached their end of life. The operator Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (TEMESA) had them modernized by the Songoro Marine Transport Boatyard, which chose Schottel without hesitation.

“We have been successfully working with Schottel for many years and always experience good working relations, reliable propulsion systems and professional contacts who provide us with guidance and support throughout our projects,” says Major Songoro, general manager of family-owned Songoro Marine.

New propulsion system
Ferry was fitted with new Schottel RudderPropeller propulsion system

Accordingly, the new machinery installation featured two type SRP 90 Schottel RudderPropellers that could be adapted to the existing vessel structure.

“Thanks to the customized concept, we were able to keep the effort as low as possible,” said Michael Heibel, team manager modernization and conversion at Schottel. “That translated into minimal downtime for the customer. As a result of this solution, the operator not only benefits from an efficient propulsion system right now but also from reliable service in the future.”

Spay, Germany-headquartered Schottel has long been a leader in the African ferry market, where more than 60 ferries with its propulsion systems are in operation.

Dirk Wagner, general manager Schottel Middle East, who is responsible for sales and service in the English-speaking countries of Africa, was particularly pleased that this position could be further improved with the modernization of the M/V Sengerema.

“The work paid off: not only did we restore a reliable lifeline for the people who live by Lake Victoria, but following on from this project, we were also able to win two contracts for delivering multiple RudderPropellers for two new ferries in the region,” he said.

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