ABB has secured an order of around $150 million to deliver a comprehensive scope of technologies to power next-generation cruise ships built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri
ABB will equip five newbuild vessels with Azipod electric propulsion, which has a proven ability to significantly reduce fuel consumption onboard.
Each cruise ship will be powered by twin Azipod units, bringing the total ordered propulsion power for the five newbuilds to 178 megawatts (238,700 horsepower). Part of the order includes the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units ever to be installed at Fincantieri, rating at 20 megawatts each. The vessels will enter service between 2023 and 2026.
With the electric drive motor situated in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod system can rotate 360 degrees, significantly increasing maneuverability and operating efficiency of a vessel and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent compared to conventional shaftline systems.
Today, over 100 cruise vessels rely on Azipod technology, which has become the industry standard in the cruise segment. Since its launch three decades ago, Azipod propulsion has saved a total of over 900,000 tons of fuel in the passenger cruise segment alone. Options for Azipod propulsion range from 1 to 22 megawatts, and its technology plays a key role in ABB’s strong position for environmentally friendly electric propulsion.
“Our collaboration with ABB spans over two decades, with the first Azipod propulsion installation at Fincantieri dating back to late 1990s. Today, we are taking further advancements in our commitment to environmentally friendly shipping, and we are delighted to once again work with a trusted partner whose solutions have over the years delivered superior performance, reliability, safety and sustainability gains for the cruise segment,” said Luigi Matarazzo, general manager merchant ships division, Fincantieri.
“We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri on these world-class vessels, setting them on course for eco-conscious cruising. Today’s passengers expect sustainable journeys, and we are honored to support Fincantieri’s environmental goals with our technology that stands for innovation and efficiency like no other,” said Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports.
Each vessel will also feature ABB’s integrated electric power plant setup, encompassing generators, drives, switchboards, propulsion transformers and a remote-control system to manoeuvre the Azipod units from the bridge. Combining Azipod propulsion with the electric power plant allows to configure all relevant equipment for optimised performance, resulting in increased efficiency and sustainability of operations.