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Tuesday, November 17, 2020 

ABB has secured an order worth around US$150m to deliver a scope of technologies to power the next-generation cruise ships built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, covering Azipod electric propulsion systems for five newbuild vessels.

Each cruise ship will be powered by twin Azipod units, bringing the total ordered propulsion power for the five newbuilds to 178 MW (238,700 hp). Part of the order includes the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units to be installed at Fincantieri, rated at 20MW each. The vessels will enter service between 2023 and 2026.

Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “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 honoured to support Fincantieri’s environmental goals with our technology that stands for innovation and efficiency like no other.”

“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, GM Merchant Ships Division, Fincantieri.

With the electric drive motor situated in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod system can rotate 360 degrees, increasing manoeuvrability and operating efficiency of a vessel and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional shaftline systems.

Today, over 100 cruise vessels rely on Azipod technology. 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 22MW, and its technology plays a key role in ABB’s position for environmentally friendly electric propulsion.

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 optimized performance, resulting in increased efficiency and sustainability of operations.

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 centres. Collaborative Operations uses remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, planned interventions and remote technical support.

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