Rolls-Royce plc has reached agreement on what will be its largest single order for marine engines, to power a revolutionary fleet of super-fast ships, which will transform transatlantic maritime trade. This signifies another step forward for the company, which already powers 30 navies around the world, as it expands into the commercial marine sector.
FastShip Inc, based in Philadelphia in the United States, will contract for 25 marine Trent gas turbines, five in each vessel and five spares, together with a 20-year support package throughout the life of each engine.
The marinised Trent engine is a derivative of the successful Rolls-Royce Trent aero-engine and is the most powerful gas turbine propulsion unit available to ship operators. Rated at 50 megawatts it will power the new FastShip vessel at speeds of up to 40 knots. As the original equipment manufacturer, the company will support the engine throughout its working life, following its strategy of providing an extended range of aftermarket services to its customers.
In launching their business, FastShip Inc. will order four high-speed container vessels with sea trials planned for 2002 and entry into service in 2003. The project also includes the development of new terminal facilities in Philadelphia and Cherbourg, France.
Financing for the business, which is due to be completed later this year already includes significant support from MARAD (US Maritime Administration Title XI Guarantee Program), financing from major equipment suppliers (including Rolls-Royce), local authorities in both Philadelphia and Cherbourg for terminals and equity funding from financial markets.
FastShip will create an improved form of transport - a premium seven-day, door-to-door North Atlantic network for high-value, time-sensitive goods (HVTS) - the fastest growing segment in the shipping industry. This allows for delivery speeds and reliability comparable to airfreight at a cost closer to conventional shipping rates. Customers will realise dramatic cost savings by reducing inventory, capital investments and other logistics costs.
More information: Rolls-Royce