Rolls-Royce won orders worth around £18 million for the supply of Azimuth thrusters to power 18 new tugs being built in China. Qingdao and Yingkou Ports will take delivery of 12 new tugs, four of which will be the most powerful operating in China. Tangshan and Tangshan Cao Feidian Ports, located in the He Bei province of Northern China, have also placed orders for a total of six tugs. The 18 vessels will all be equipped with two Rolls-Royce Azimuth thrusters. The thrusters comprise an electric motor and a propeller which, as a combined unit can be rotated horizontally in any direction to manoeuvre the vessel without the need for a rudder. John Zhang, Rolls-Royce, Manager – Merchant, Greater China, said: “The multiple orders received demonstrate how our cutting edge marine technology is applied to meet our customers’ evolving requirements. These exceptionally powerful and highly manoeuvrable thrusters are critical to supporting the continued growth of the Chinese tug market, and the important role tugs play in facilitating trade.”
All 12 tugs ordered by Qingdao port and Yingkou port will be built at the Zhenjiang shipyard in Jiangsu province. The four most powerful tugs will have 6,000kW of installed power. They will each be equipped with a pair of Rolls-Royce US305 Azimuth thrusters with fixed pitch propellers measuring three metres in diameter. The other eight tugs will be equipped with the smaller Rolls-Royce US205 Azimuth thrusters with a propeller diameter of 2.4m and have an installed power of 3,500kW.