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RAPID INSTALLATION FOR WASALINE AZIPODS

Monday, September 14, 2020 

Taking just one week to install, ABB says its Azipod propulsion will ensure sustainable performance for Wasaline’s new ferry 'Aurora Botnia', while achieving up to four days of annual time savings due to operational efficiency.

The new ferry, launched by the Finnish shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions, will be operated by Wasaline on the most northerly all-year passenger route, between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. Entering service in 2021, Aurora Botnia will have capacity to transport 800 passengers and up to 1,500 lane-metres of trucks and cars, completing two round trips per day in high season.

Dubbed one of the most environmentally friendly passenger ferries, the 150m vessel is equipped with ice-class Azipod electric propulsion to ensure efficient and sustainable operation in any conditions.

“We chose ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion for several reasons,” said Peter Ståhlberg, Wasaline CEO. “Superior manoeuvrability will save time and increase productivity, enabling precise schedules to be maintained on this route. We calculated likely annual time savings of close to four days of operation, which was compelling. The solution also saves valuable space on board and simplifies hull construction. Access to ABB’s training and support services in Finland were other major plus points.”

The Azipod system was delivered to the shipyard fully engineered and ready for immediate installation. It has been installed on the newbuild ferry by the yard under supervision by the local ABB Marine & Ports commissioning team according to schedule, successfully gaining acceptance by yard, owner, and classification society.

Johanna Kaijo, Rauma Marine Constructions’ Project Manager said: “We were able to install the Azipod units in just one week. For us as a shipbuilder, this translates into significant project flexibility by helping to optimise time and resources. Having fully engineered units has notably improved the completion of the vessel construction – the installation was literally about plugging the ready-made units into the vessel hull.”

The new vessel will run on LNG fuel and will benefit from greater environmental and efficiency gains due to the selection of ABB Azipod propulsion with permanent magnet motor technology. Designed to meet Polar Code 6 criteria, the pair of 5.8MW Azipod units, with the electric drive motor in a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, can rotate through 360 degrees thereby increasing maneuverability. In addition to its ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional propulsion, Azipod technology can improve the onboard experience for passengers and crew through its quiet-running and vibration-free operation.

“Azipod propulsion is now a well-proven, sustainable and efficient solution for ferries,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “We are delighted that Wasaline have chosen our sector-leading technology for this high-profile Baltic project. Once more, this is an order that highlights our leading position in passenger ship propulsion.”

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