Marking 50 years since the delivery of its first azimuth thruster, Rolls-Royce held an event in Rauma, Finland to celebrate the occasion.
Azimuthing thrusters, which today are one of Rolls-Royce’s most successful marine products, rotate through 360 degrees, providing propulsion and maneuverability, without the need for a rudder. Azimuthing thrusters power and position some of the world’s largest floating structures.
The Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest construction vessel, will be powered by 12 Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters when it enters service on decommissioning duties in the North Sea later this year, Rolls-Royce noted.
Joining Rolls-Royce employees to mark the occasion were the company’s chief executive John Rishton and marine president Mikael Makinen.
“Today marks a hugely significant milestone for our marine business and particularly the team here in Rauma, our center of excellence for large thruster production,” Rishton said. “Our customers operate in some of the most demanding conditions on the planet, and need not only high power, but consistently reliable power, and that’s exactly what these thrusters deliver.”
Makinen added, “This is a proud day for our business. From its early inception as a steerable propeller, the Rolls-Royce azimuth thruster range has developed into a world-leading portfolio today, providing high power for drillships, semi-submersible rigs and other vessels including tugs, icebreakers and offshore support vessels.”
“Renowned for robust engineering and high reliability, our large azimuth thrusters are built to last,” Makinen continued. “Often operating for five years at a time without any major maintenance, their success can be attributed to the expertise of our design and production teams, and decades of operating experience.”