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Friday, June 5, 2020 

ABB has signed a contract to support Sovcomflot's icebreaking LNG carrier 'Christophe de Margerie' with remote diagnostics services for increased safety and performance as the vessel completes the transit of the Northern Sea Route, bound for China with Yamal LNG cargo two months earlier than usual.

The Christophe de Margerie will now have round-the-clock remote support provided through ABB’s network of eight ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centres. Remote support and connectivity, coupled with data analytics enabled by the ABB Ability Remote Diagnostics System, enhance Christophe de Margerie’s operational safety and ensure optimal performance, while helping to promptly detect and correct faults on board.

“ABB Azipod propulsion, with which Christophe de Margerie is equipped, strongly contributed to the vessel’s successful passage along the Northern Sea Route while facing some of the world’s most challenging ice conditions,” said Igor Tonkovidov, President and CEO, Sovcomflot. “ABB’s Remote Diagnostics System ensures that our crews can rely on a robust round-the-clock support, which helps enhance vessel performance and operational safety.”

In May 2020, Christophe de Margerie successfully completed an eastbound journey across the Northern Sea Route two months earlier than usual, to deliver gas from the Yamal LNG industrial complex to China, supported remotely by ABB’s experts remotely. The ARC7 ice-class tanker made history in 2017 as the first merchant vessel to cross the full length of the Northern Sea Route without icebreaker assistance.

“This latest development in our long cooperation with Sovcomflot is another major step forward in our ‘Electric. Digital. Connected.’ strategy,” said Juha Koskela, MD ABB Marine and Ports. “It comes at a key moment in shipping’s digital journey, with real-time support for a sophisticated vessel such as Christophe de Margerie demonstrating that our connected expertise can be delivered in full, no matter how remote the location.”

Like her sister ships servicing Yamal LNG, the 172,600m3 vessel is equipped with three of the largest Azipod propulsion units supplied by ABB. Together, the 15 MW Azipod units enable the vessel to navigate safely through ice up to 2.1m thick. The units, which can be rotated 360 degrees, boost vessel manoeuvrability and provide thrust in any direction in ice.

This latest contract brings the total number of Sovcomflot vessels supported by ABB Ability Remote Diagnostics Systems for Marine to 16.

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