Once again ABB has proved its ability to control marine movements by winning the preferred supplier position in the cruise segment. The company’s specialised venture ABB Marine & Ports will equip five newbuild vessels of Fincantieri with Azipod electric propulsion.
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. Each vessel will also feature ABB’s integrated electric power plant setup, encompassing generators, drives, switchboards, propulsion transformers and a remote-control system to maneuver the Azipod units from the bridge.
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.
In line with ABB Marine & Ports’ ‘Electric. Digital. Connected.’ approach that envisages shipping’s digital and connected future, these vessels will have the capability to leverage the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations infrastructure and centers. This uses remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, planned interventions and remote technical support.