Rolls-Royce opens €30m mtu combustion engine assembly plant
Rolls-Royce has opened a new €30m assembly plant for its mtu Series 2000 yacht engines in Kluftern near Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The mtu 2000 series is a high-performance yacht engine regularly used on luxury yachts and superyachts. In 2022, Ferretti Group renewed an ongoing supply agreement with Rolls-Royce to use its mtu engines to power its yachts until at least 2027.
The new production facility, which was announced in 2021, creates space for assembly and shipping. The assembly of mtu Series 2000 engines will be relocated to Kluftern, enabling the modernisation of the existing assembly halls in Rolls-Royce’s Plant 2 in Friedrichshafen, which will provide long-term production space for the Series 4000 engine. The Kluftern plant currently employs 110 people.
Rolls-Royce says its new production building has been designed to be energy-efficient, with features including a 1.2 MW-peak photovoltaic system to provide electricity.
“Our investments are a clear commitment to the region and to our products and solutions, which are important building blocks of the energy transition in various application areas,” says Dr Jörg Stratmann, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems. “We are convinced that, in conjunction with sustainable fuels and new technologies, the internal combustion engine will play a central role in the future. Because it’s the fuel that matters, not the engine.”
Rolls-Royce is focusing on developing engines that can run on a wide range of sustainable fuels, replacing fossil fuels and significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The company has already launched hybrid systems for rail, shipping and energy, as well as intelligent automation systems.
Renewable diesel (HVO/hydrogenated vegetable oil) is an important step on the road to decarbonisation. In 2022, MAN approved all marine engines from its current product range for use with renewable diesel fuel. In June 2023, Azimut-Benetti Group confirmed it will use HVO in new yachts.
Many mtu engines from Rolls-Royce have already been released for use with this sustainable fuel. HVO is said to enable up to 90 per cent CO2 reduction as well as reducing particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions. It can be produced on an industrial scale from hydrogenated vegetable oil and waste materials from the catering and food industries.
“We are doing everything we can to make the internal combustion engine climate-neutral with sustainable fuels and in combination with new technologies,” says Stratmann. “But this can only be achieved if the political framework conditions are set so that alternative fuels can be successfully ramped up.”