Rolls-Royce to provide Baydelta Maritime with hybrid propulsion system

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

08 February 2018


Rolls-Royce will supply the tug boat sector with its first hybrid propulsion arrangement for installation to a multi-purpose tractor tug undergoing construction for Baydelta Maritime LLC. The vessel is being built at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, in Washington State, U.S.A. The order represents the first hybrid tug using proven Rolls-Royce hybrid technology, the first installation of a hybrid system for Nichols Brothers and the first hybrid tug designed by Jensen Maritime, Crowley Maritime Corp’s Seattle-based naval architecture and engineering firm. The 100-foot long tug will feature the same ship assist and tanker escort capabilities of existing Delta Class harbour tugs but with greatly improved towing performance. The Rolls-Royce hybrid system enhances the vessel’s escort capability, enabling the tug to provide support for assisting the ultra-large containerships that operate from US West Coast ports. Rolls-Royce will supply all electric motors, shaft generators and a power management and control system. The Hybrid arrangement provides power to US255 azimuth thrusters with ducted fixed pitch propellers that can be rotated 360 degrees around the vertical axis. This arrangement optimises omni-directional thrust and manoeuvrability as well as providing improved crash stop capability. Erik Larsen, Rolls-Royce, Vice President – Tug and Fish, Americas, said: “Baydelta Maritime is a long-standing customer for Rolls-Royce, but this order is of particular significance because it marks our first Rolls-Royce Hybrid System for a tug. The tug will provide improved fuel efficiency and emissions. It shows this market, that the Rolls-Royce portfolio extends way beyond our US-type azimuth thrusters, the propulsion system of choice for this segment.” Commenting on their operational performance, Mark Barnum, Captain, Baydelta Maritime, added: “In San Francisco Bay containerships can enter at high rates of speed to maintain manoeuvrability and Rolls Royce thrusters are very responsive. We can go from full ahead to full astern in under 30 seconds. They also allow us to provide pilots with high tonnage breaks to prevent anything from happening during manoeuvres.” The new tug Jensen Maritime has designed for Baydelta will be capable of a 90 short-ton bollard pull and capable of carrying up to 71,000 gallons of fuel, 4,300 gallons of fresh water, a large pilot house will provide all-around visibility, and the deckhouse has an open feel with a large mess and lounge area along with accommodations for a 8-person crew.