ABB has secured a contract with Fincantieri, one of the world’s leading shipbuilding groups, to deliver in total eight mid-range Azipod® propulsion systems for four forthcoming medium-sized cruise vessels. The ships are due for delivery in 2024, 2025, 2026 and in 2027.
“We are looking forward to working with our long-term, trusted partner ABB on these newbuilds that promise optimum sustainability, passenger comfort and safety,” said Massimo Costa, Vice President Purchasing Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri. “Azipod® propulsion system has demonstrated its value in the cruise sector over three decades and has become the industry standard, meaning that the customer can count on proven technology and unparalleled experience.”
The passenger ships will be equipped with two 7.7-megawatt Azipod® propulsion units per vessel. The system meets the design requirements of modern medium-sized vessels, while the proven ability of Azipod® technology to optimize maneuverability and reduce vibrations and noise provides smoother, safer cruising and ensures an enhanced guest experience.
With the electric drive motor housed within a pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod® system can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability and allowing vessels to dock in harbors where turning circles are restricted. Azipod® propulsion also improves a ship’s hydrodynamic performance and cuts fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared with a traditional shaftline setup. Space saved by locating the motor outside the ship allows for more flexible design and frees up space for cabins, cargo or other features.
“We are honored to supply an integrated propulsion system to ensure the ultimate cruise experience onboard these four vessels,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “This order represents a significant milestone for our advanced mid-range Azipod® propulsors, once again demonstrating their environmental and operational benefits.”
The Azipod® system features ABB’s fourth-generation permanent magnet motors, which have been refined for added power and efficiency, while a simple but robust design offers ease of maintenance and reliability. The system’s compatibility with alternative energy sources makes it a future-proof solution that is ready to work with new, cleaner fuels as soon as these become available.
Alongside the two Azipod® units, ABB’s full scope of supply includes propulsion drives, transformers and control systems. The comprehensive setup offers high system redundancy to further promote safety and reliability.