Rolls-Royce has delivered the first of three EPA Tier 4-compliant propulsion systems from its MTU brand to California’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). The solution will be installed in three new high-speed 44m catamaran ferries expected to enter service in the San Francisco Bay Area in late 2018.
Because the bay is subject to special environmental protection, the ferry service is required to be sustainable, eco friendly and cost efficient. The propulsion system’s 5% lower fuel consumption, 75% lower nitrous oxide and 65% lower particulate pollution allows it to comply with IMO III and EPA Tier 4 requirements.
The ferries are being built by the Dakota Creek Industries shipyard and MTU will supply a total of six 16V 4000 units, six MTU-built SCR systems, and six ZF gearboxes. Depending on the number of cylinders, power output ranges from 1,380 to 3,220 kW, and all three vessels will have MTU BlueVision ship automation. Each engine will deliver 2,560kW/3,435bhp (1,800 rpm), which will allow the catamarans to reach speeds of up to 34 knots.
The propulsion system integrates Series 4000 diesel engines with SCR systems for exhaust gas after-treatment. Advances in turbocharging, internal combustion and fuel injection, in combination with the SCR system, mean that there is no need for an additional diesel particulate filter to comply with Tier 4 and IMO III requirements.
The ferries are part of WETA’s 2016 strategic plan to expand the San Francisco ferry fleet to include 44 vessels and 16 terminals in order to accommodate a 740% increase in peak capacity. Its current fleet includes 14 high-speed catamarans that service nine terminals between Vallejo, San Francisco, Alameda, Oakland and South San Francisco.
“As our Bay Area population expands and traffic congestion continues to worsen, more and more people are looking for a convenient and enjoyable means of transportation, and they’re turning to ferries,” says WETA executive director Nina Rannells.