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22 August, 2019

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Power pods could cut ferry running costs by $1.7m a year

15 August, 2019

ABB has launched a new mid-sized series of its Azipod ship propulsion pods aimed primarily at ferry operators. The announcement comes as a new study by the Finnish marine consultancy Deltamarin found that Azipods could save ferry operators up to $1.7m in annual fuel costs per vessel, as well as cutting their CO2 emissions by about 10,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to taking about 2,200 passenger cars off the road.

By simulating journeys on seven existing ferry routes, Deltamarin found that a ferry equipped with twin 10MW Azipods would consume less fuel than a similar vessel powered by traditional shaft-based propulsion. The global ferry industry, which transports 2.1 billion passengers every year, is facing increasing pressure to comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s target of reducing annual emissions by 30% by 2025.

ABB’s new series of Azipods cover the power range 7.5–14.5MW, thus filling a gap between its existing high- and low-power Azipods, which span the range 1­–22MW. “With the launch of the mid-power range Azipod propulsion, we will be able to empower more shipowners to improve the performance of their vessels while lowering environmental impact,” says Peter Terwiesch, president of ABB’s Industrial Automation business. As well as ferries, the new Azipods are also suitable for larger offshore construction vessels, midsize cruise ships and shuttle tankers.

ABB’s Azipods can cut fuel consumption by up to 20% per vessel

The Azipod system consists of submerged pods mounted on the outside of a ship’s hull, containing electric drive motors. The pods can rotate through 360 degrees, making the vessels extremely manoeuvrable. They can cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional shaft-based propulsion systems, as well as reducing noise and vibration. Existing Azipod systems have accumulated more than 15 million running hours, saving more than 700,000 tonnes of fuel for cruise vessels alone. The latest M series Azipods are equipped with the fourth generation of ABB’s permanent magnet motors that have been refined to improve power and efficiency further.

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