On a visit to Lake Constance, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel visited Rolls-Royce Power Systems in Friedrichshafen on Monday 14 August, to hear about development and production of the very latest propulsion and drive systems for ships, trains and heavy land vehicles, and for power generation. “The Green and High-Tech programme at Royce Power Systems opens up further prospects for German industry. The company has thus launched an initiative that I gladly support,” said Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on his tour through the plant.
CEO Andreas Schell and CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg took the minister on a tour of the plant to explain the company’s Green & High-Tech programme and talk about the key international growth markets for this technology. “At Rolls-Royce Power Systems, we launched our Green & High-Tech programme in 2016. It involves us investing very deliberately in environmentally-friendly solutions of the future which are aimed at fewer pollutant emissions and lower consumption of energy and raw materials. It is absolutely key to keeping the company competitive on the international stage,” said Andreas Schell, and showed Gabriel a specific example at the company’s natural gas engine test stand. MTU is to ship the first certified production gas engines for marine applications in 2018. These MTU engines, which run on liquefied natural gas, have attracted major interest from across the world. The first pre-production engines are being delivered to the Strategic Marine shipyard in Vietnam at the end of the year for installation in catamarans being built for Dutch shipping company Doeksen. The vessels will be used to ply ferry routes in the Wadden Sea nature conservation area. Lake Constance, which is Europe’s largest reservoir of drinking water, is also set to get a new ferry powered by MTU natural gas engines in 2019.
The highlights of the product line-up at Rolls-Royce Power Systems feature not just gas engines, but also diesels with newly-developed exhaust aftertreatment technology to meet strict international emissions requirements, and also diesel hybrids. Large ships, haul trucks and trains all require high power outputs, meaning internal combustion engines – such as diesel engines – remain indispensable. MTU’s highly refined diesel engines are currently being chosen for new ferries in the San Francisco Bay area. California is regarded as one of the areas with the most demanding environmental protection regulations worldwide.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems makes 90% of its revenue abroad. “We’re concerned about growing levels of protectionism in some countries, trade barriers and sanctions,” CEO Andreas Schell explained to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Sigmar Gabriel was also impressed by Rolls-Royce Power Systems’ offering to employees – flexible working hours, a Group-wide health management system, leisure facilities and counselling services, as well as a day-to-day culture which makes it easier to combine work and family life. “In order to continue managing our company successfully as it moves into the future, and to adopt a leading role in the face of international competition, we want to provide a working environment which offers freedom – in terms of time and location – in the way people organize their work, and one which encourages creativity and personal responsibility,” explained CFO Marcus A. Wassenberg.