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Rolls-Royce signs partnership with Italian shipyard Sanlorenzo

British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has announced a partnership with Italian yacht builder Sanlorenzo and aims to jointly develop more sustainable propulsion systems.

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto08 septembre 2022

Developing greener technologies is becoming a priority in the yachting world (Shutterstock)

The two major companies are said to have a common goal of developing new propulsion technologies for luxury yachts, including research into carbon-neutral engines fuelled by "green" methanol. The research into environmentally friendly technologies by teams at Rolls-Royce's Power Systems Division is extensive, including the electrolysis process for producing green hydrogen. Electrolysis is a process that aims to break down water (H2O) using an electric current. The result is oxygen O2 and H2. The electricity supplied for the process must be renewable. Other research focuses on fuel cells.

The exclusive agreement between the two companies aims to build yachts between 40 and 70 metres with a low environmental impact. Powered by MTU methanol engines, the prototype yacht from the Sanlorenzo shipyard is expected to start its maiden voyage in four years, in 2026.

While Rolls-Royce is at the forefront of green technology research, Sanlorenzo has been following the same approach for the past ten years.

The Italian shipyard, headed by Massimo Perotti, is experiencing significant growth, generated among other things by its development programme on hybrid propulsion. Sanlorenzo's advances in this promising sector have enabled the expansion and modernisation of the shipyards in the Italian port city of La Spezia. The development of greener technologies is now an unavoidable trend in the world of yachting, an issue that has been the subject of constant controversy by the main environmental associations for several years. As a result, both Rolls-Royce and Sanlorenzo have a responsibility to set an example for more environmentally friendly development.

Rolls-Royce PLC employs 44,000 people in 49 countries and has announced a turnover of €10.6 billion in 2021 for all activities. It has 5,000 customers in over 150 countries, mainly airlines and energy giants.

500 million in 2019, which corresponds to the construction of 77 superyachts, a more than remarkable figure for a single-brand shipyard.

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