Introduction of the ‘M’ series means that ABB now offers Azipods ranging from 1MW to 22MW.
Azipod installations are now in operation on some 110 cruise vessels and more than 80 icebreaking ships, and ABB has a significant orderbook in hand. However, the ‘M’ range is likely to appeal to ferry and ropax operators who now fund themselves under increasing pressure to raise fuel efficiency and cut emissions.
The technology offers a range of benefits including a smaller installed power requirement, improved manoeuvrability and a smaller footprint enabling more flexible design.
“For close to three decades, Azipod electric propulsion has been the driving force behind safe, efficient and sustainable operation for a wide range of vessels,” said Antti Ruohonen, the company’s senior vice president for propulsion solutions. “We are thrilled to extend the benefits of the Azipod system to vessels requiring propulsion power of 7.5-14.5MW.”
The company will provide Azipod systems for two ferries ordered recently for operation in the Baltic. Viking Line’s LNG-powered ferry, currently under construction at Xiamen Shipbuilding in China, will be powered by Azipods on her route between Turku, the Åland Islands and Stockholm.
Meanwhile, the existing 41-year-old ferry deployed on the world’s northernmost ferry route between Vasa and Umeå is to be replaced by a new dual-fuel vessel, with a battery package and Azipod installation, capable of operating in heavy ice conditions. The ferry is due for delivery in April 2021.