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Thursday, July 15, 2021 

A new bitumen tanker for France-based Rubis Group, currently under construction at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard, will feature azimuth thrusters from German propulsion company Schottel.

The 15,000-dwt asphalt carrier will be driven by two highly efficient Schottel EcoPellers and one transverse thruster. Designed by Sweden's FKAB Marine, the vessel will be deployed in West Africa for asphalt transportation services.

The main propulsion of the carrier consists of two electrically driven 2,050 kW Schottel SRE 560 EcoPellers, featuring fixed pitch propellers with a diameter of 3.1m. With this configuration, the 145.8m long and 26.2m wide vessel will achieve a maximum speed of 13.55 knots at design draught. A 600kW Schottel STT2 transverse thruster will ensure maximum manoeuvrability.

Thanks to the combination of powerful propeller thrust and course-stabilising fin, and the hydrodynamically optimised design, the SRE can produce maximum steering forces and enable high overall efficiency and course stability. This cuts fuel consumption and ensures both lower operating costs and reduced emissions.

Model tests carried out at the maritime consulting company SSPA Sweden confirm the performance of the EcoPeller: when compared to a conventional rudder propeller with nozzle, it demonstrated a 17% increase in propulsion efficiency at an operational ship speed of 12.5 knots throughout testing. To achieve the maximum ship speed of 13.55 knots at design draught, the SRE requires 11% less propulsion power than a conventional rudder propeller with nozzle.

The Rubis Group distributes fuel, liquefied gas, and bitumen from supply to end consumer. It operates in 41 countries across three continents: Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.

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