Rolls-Royce and Lürssen announce sustainability projects at MYS
Rolls-Royce made two announcements at MYS regarding its role in a greener future for the Yachting Industry…
The narrative for the future of sustainability in the yachting industry, particularly around propulsion systems, has a new chapter. Rolls-Royce and Lürssen today announced they have been working on specific projects to develop the use of methanol as the environmentally friendly solution to fuel yachts. One such project involves the propulsion of a Lürssen yacht using mtu methanol engines from Rolls-Royce. The two companies will focus on vessels of 75 meters and above, which offer great potential for being powered by methanol. In the best case scenario, the main fuel the companies will work with is the synthetic fuel 'green' methanol, made by taking the environmentally damaging gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it using electricity from renewable generation such as solar or wind farms. Additionally, engines running on ‘green menthol’ have a 'net zero' carbon footprint as they give off the equivalent in CO2 to the amount originally extracted from the air.
But that is not the only eco-friendly initiative Rolls-Royce have announced today. Rolls-Royce has agreed to a promising collaboration with the Water Revolution Foundation (WRF), a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote sustainability through collaborations with the superyacht industry. The Rolls-Royce Power Systems business unit, with its mtu product and solutions brand, is committing to WRF as an Anchor Partner, making it the first propulsion system manufacturer to support the foundation. As well as the financial backing, Rolls-Royce will provide WRF with technological expertise and data for the development of various tools. These include the Yacht Assessment Tool which, based on the Life Cycle Approach can calculate in a standardized, objective way the environmental impact of a yacht over its entire life cycle, as well as that of an engine or propulsion system.
Speaking exclusively with SuperyachtNews Daniel Chatterjee, director of sustainability, technology management and regulatory affairs for MTU Rolls-Royce, expressed that “the main commitment is for the whole group, for the company, to become net zero by 2050… and that really means making our engines ready for operating on CO2 neutral fuels and new technology like fuel cells.” Chatterjee elaborated: “we need to consider how can we operate with digitisation more efficiently to implement them? We also believe that's the part we can play with our technology and that's why we want to partner with organisations like the Water Revolution Foundation.”
The Executive Director and Co-founder of the Water Revolution Foundation, Robert Van Tol, spoke about the partnership in an exclusive interview with SuperyachtNews: “We very much appreciate the commitment from MTU Rolls-Royce. Obviously, it's the biggest player in the industry for large yachts if you look at the market share in this sector… (having) the first engine manufacturer on board of the Water Revolution Foundation is a great privilege and this is another great milestone for the foundation itself to develop and to reconfirm to the existing partners that this is a growing movement. We really look forward to the one on one collaboration with them and to learn more about their development and see how we can also contribute to that with lifecycle assessment approach and tackling the environmental impact on the operational side by focussing also on the operational profile of the yachts.”
In 2021, Superyacht Intelligence undertook research into alternative propulsion systems. It was discovered, as highlighted in the above graphs, that while 92.1 per cent of respondents believe that there is going to be a shift towards new propulsion systems, there is no consensus on what that will look like. Hybrid systems are predicted to be the most popular, with 43 per cent of the survey demographic expecting these systems will account for up to 40 per cent on the fleet in the next five to 10 years. However, projects like those being undertaken by Rolls-Royce and Lürssen will continue to shift the markets perception and sentiment towards the future of propulsion systems.
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