ABB expands Azipod power range for ferries and RoPax vessels

ABB expands Azipod power range for ferries and RoPax vessels
Azipod propulsion new series in 7.5-14.5MW

ABB has extended the power range of Azipod propulsion with the launch of a new series in 7.5-14.5MW, providing a power range applicable for larger offshore construction vessels, mid-size cruise ships, and shuttle tankers.

The expansion means that the Azipod propulsion family now covers the power range of 1-22MW. At the core of the new mid-power range are ABB’s latest fourth generation permanent magnet motors, which draw on proven Azipod propulsion technologies but have been refined to increase power and maximize efficiency. Additionally, the latest ‘M’ series of Azipod propulsion feature technical advantages tailored to provide operating benefits for ferry and RoPax owners and operators.

The mid-power range propulsion units have been designed for low onboard height, which allows placing the Azipod system under the car deck of RoPax vessels, ensuring smooth loading and unloading of vehicles, as well as allowing for maximizing the deck space. The design simplicity of the propulsion system provides increased robustness and reliability, at the same time allowing for ease of maintenance.

Recent breakthrough orders in the ferry segment include the Azipod propulsion system specified for an LNG-powered vessel due for delivery to Viking Line next year. Azipod propulsion was also preferred by Wasaline for the recently ordered dual-fuel and battery power ferry, which will operate between Sweden and Finland.

An independent study by Deltamarin, a ship design, offshore engineering and construction group, where a RoPax vessel equipped with the Azipod system was compared to a conventional vessel with shaftline propulsion, has shown average savings in fuel and energy consumption equivalent to $1.7 million annually. Lower fuel consumption also means that the Azipod-powered ferry would reduce CO2 emissions – by approximately 10,000 tons per year. This is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by about 2,200 passenger cars annually.

The study included advanced simulations of a ferry equipped with twin 10 MW Azipod units travelling on seven existing ferry routes. In addition to the independent study, ABB has also measured how the Azipod propulsion system delivers more resilience to weather and allows for approaching port at higher speeds and with higher precision to enhance schedule-keeping.

“Building a future-proof, robust RoPax ferry requires proven technology that enables energy efficiency, saves valuable onboard space and provides increased passenger comfort. These features, coupled with superior manoeuvrability that would allow the ferry to operate a precise schedule crucial for a busy route, have made ABB’s Azipod propulsion a natural choice for our newbuild project,” – said Peter Ståhlberg, CEO at Wasaline.

“For close to three decades, Azipod electric propulsion has been the driving force behind safe, efficient and sustainable operations for a wide range of vessels. We are thrilled to extend the benefits of the Azipod system to vessels requiring propulsion power of 7.5-14.5MW,” said Antti Ruohonen, senior vice president for propulsion solutions at ABB Marine & Ports.