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Sanlorenzo and Rolls-Royce Join Forces to Build Sustainable, Methane-Powered Luxury Yacht

It’s not just the automotive industry that’s taking steps on the road towards a more sustainable future but also the yacht industry, with shipbuilders constantly looking for ways to make shipping more climate-neutral.
Sanlorenzo and Rolls-Royce announce agreement for sustainable yacht 6 photos
Rolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo announce agreement for sustainable yachtRolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo announce agreement for sustainable yachtRolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo announce agreement for sustainable yachtRolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo announce agreement for sustainable yachtRolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo announce agreement for sustainable yacht
With this goal in mind, Rolls-Royce and Italian yacht builder Sanlorenzo have announced they will join forces to develop and build a large motor yacht equipped with a methanol engine propulsion system that can run carbon-neutrally fueled by “green” methanol.

The announcement was made just ahead of this year’s Cannes Yachting Festival, and it seems the two companies have already established the broad outlines of the agreement, under which they will build more environmentally-friendly vessels ranging between 40 and 70 meters in length.

The first Sanlorenzo yacht built under this partnership will be powered by two mtu methanol engines based on Rolls-Royce Power Systems’ Series 4000, and the companies promise it will set sail on its maiden voyage in 2026.

“We’re making shipping more environmentally friendly and easier on the climate, and this agreement is a big step forward in the right direction,” Denise Kurtulus, vice president of Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, states.

Green methanol is now a proven, readily available, and sustainable solution to kick start the reduction of carbon emissions from the maritime industry, and that’s because methanol is produced via renewable energies, specifically solar or wind power.

“Synthetic methanol, produced using electricity generated from renewable sources, is the obvious fuel of the future for many maritime applications – not least yacht propulsion,” Kurtulus adds.

“The use of green methanol, produced with electricity from renewable sources and with CO2 captured from the atmosphere, allows the generation of 'carbon neutral' power: the amount of CO2 released into the air in the combustion process is equivalent to that subtracted from the environment for the production of methanol,” Sanlorenzo explains.

There will be challenges, though, as methanol’s energy density is approximately 50% lower than that of diesel. This means the fuel tanks of the future yachts will have to be twice as big to maintain the same range as with diesel propulsion.

However, there are advantages, too, besides the obvious emission reduction. Due to its liquid nature, methanol can be distributed, stored and integrated into the existing infrastructure sans massive investments. Moreover, it has a higher energy density compared to other sustainable fuels, is easy to manage, and is already available in ports.

Safety requirements are also potentially lower compared to other fuels due to methanol being non-toxic.

Rolls-Royce’s vice president also explained that their research into the market indicates that customers are no longer looking for the most powerful yachts, and engine power output is no longer a decisive factor in a purchase decision. Instead, customers are more interested in sustainable solutions, so they’re looking for yachts with a reduced carbon footprint.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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