Skip to main content



Monday, January 18, 2021 

The first of two self-unloading trans-shipment bulker newbuilds has been handed over to German owner Oldendorff by China’s Chengxi Shipyard; the new pair is notable for the successful installation and commissioning of Azipod propulsion.

The delivery saw two 1.9-MW Azipod units installed on each of the 21,500dwt trans-shipment bulkers for Germany’s largest bulk carrier owner, as part of a package of electric, digital and connected solutions from ABB. The scope of supply included diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling, as well as 50/60-Hz connectors to draw on zero emission shore power when in port.

Joern Westfehling, Newbuilding Manager, Oldendorff Carriers, said: “Collaborating with ABB has been a very positive experience. We look forward to reaping the operational rewards of Azipod propulsion, such as enhanced vessel efficiency and increased manoeuvrability.”

Jiafa Jiang, Vice GM Chengxi Shipyard, said: “This was Chengxi Shipyard’s first time installing Azipod technology, and the process went remarkably smoothly. Compared to a conventional propulsion system, ABB Azipod propulsion has greatly reduced the construction complexity for the yard thanks to its simple design and ease of installation. ABB worked seamlessly with Chenxi Shipyard to ensure successful delivery of this world’s first self-unloading trans-shipment vessel. I would like to devote my appreciation to the ABB project and commissioning team for their professional working spirit.”

Controlling a fleet of around 700 ships, around 95% of Oldendorff’s owned fleet comprises ‘eco’ newbuilds delivered since 2014, which are specifically designed for low fuel consumption and reduced carbon footprint. And since its forthcoming vessels will be tasked with transferring cargo from oceangoing ships in deep water for delivery to a port with restricted draught and space, manoeuvrability is a vital consideration.

“We are delighted that the first bulk carriers to feature Azipod® propulsion have been successfully delivered,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine and Ports. “The project fully demonstrates that Azipod is the go-to solution for environmentally conscious operators of all ship types. Because the electric drive motor is housed within a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod unit is capable of 360-degree rotation, improving manoeuvrability and operational efficiency. This also frees up cargo space on board, potentially boosting vessel profitability further.”

ABB has supplied Azipod units for around 25 vessel types, with the propulsion system accumulating more than 17 million running hours in that time.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index