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Rolls-Royce Propulsion Systems to Boost Efficiency on New Alaska Class Ferries


Rolls-Royce has been selected by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, via its Alaska Marine Highway System, and Vigor Industrial, to provide a highly efficient propulsion system for its future Alaska Class ferries that will be built by Vigor Shipyards in Ketchikan, Alaska.

The two Alaska Class ferries will feature a range of Rolls-Royce technology, including reduction gearboxes, tunnel thrusters and steering gears.

A Rolls-Royce Promas propulsion system, which integrates controllable pitch propellers and rudders, will increase fuel efficiency and enhance manoeuvrability.

Tor-Gunnar Hovig, SVP Commercial Marine, North America - Rolls-Royce, said: “We are delighted to work with the Alaska Marine Highway System and Vigor Shipyards to provide a robust and fuel efficient propulsion system for these new ferries that will benefit the state and people of Alaska for many decades to come.”

“What is also exciting about this contract is that it represents the first time a ferry operator in North America will utilize our Promas integrated propeller and rudder system, which improves the propulsion performance by means of  increasing the efficiency, resulting in lower fuel consumption compared to traditional systems. To date, more than 60 new build ships feature Promas with close to 40 already retrofitted with the system.”

Each ferry will be 280 feet long, seat up to 300 passengers and carry more than 50 standard vehicles; and will feature bow and stern doors, for quicker loading and unloading, and fully enclosed car decks.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
  1. Rolls-Royce’s vision is to create better power for a changing world via two main business segments, Aerospace and Land & Sea. These business segments address markets with two strong technology platforms, gas turbines and reciprocating engines. Aerospace comprises Civil Aerospace and Defence Aerospace. Land & Sea comprises Marine, Nuclear and Power Systems.
  2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 120 countries, comprising more than 380 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and 1,200 power and nuclear customers.
  3. Our business is focused on the 4Cs:
    * Customer - placing the customer at the heart of our business
    * Concentration - deciding where to grow and where not to
    * Cost - continually looking to increase efficiency
    * Cash - improving financial performance
  4. Annual underlying revenue was £15.5 billion in 2013, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £70.4 billion at 30 June 2014.
  5. In 2013, Rolls-Royce invested £1.1 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  6. Rolls-Royce employs over 55,000 people in 45 countries. Over 17,000 of these are engineers. The Energy businesses transferred to Siemens in December 2014, have just under 2,100 permanent employees.
  7. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2013 we employed 379 graduates and 288 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes. Globally we have over 1,000 Rolls-Royce STEM ambassadors who are actively involved in education programmes and activities; we have set ourselves a target to reach 6 million people through our STEM outreach activities by 2020.


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