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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Fuel-saving Azipods for LNG carrier and oil tanker

21 Jul 2016 08:41 GMT

Electric propulsion units to be fitted in South Korea.

Pictured at Vuosaari harbour on the outskirts of Helsinki, these four Azipod units are destined for shipyards in South Korea - a journey which will take approximately one month. The four thrusters have a combined power of 52 megawatts (MW) and will be fitted to an LNG carrier for the Yamal project and an arctic oil tanker.

ABB is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first installation of an Azipod unit, which has gone on to become a leader in the podded electric propulsion market. During a quarter of a century of service the thrusters have clocked up more than 12 million hours of running time, helping save the maritime industry 700,000 tons of fuel since being launched, according to data provided by ABB.

The gearless, steerable propulsion system is said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent and achieve decimetre-accurate manoeuvrability without the aid of tugboats. It is installed on a range of vessels, including the world's largest cruise ship, the most advanced icebreaker, one of the largest crane vessels in Asia, a 105-metre luxury superyacht, and most recently, an innovative cargo transfer vessel.

According to Clarkson's Research, the number of vessels with electric propulsion is growing at a pace of 12 percent per year, three times faster than the world's fleet.

ABB is celebrating Azipod propulsion's 25th anniversary this year. The electrical propulsion system consists of an electric motor with propeller that is mounted inside a streamlined pod capable of 360-degree movement beneath the ship. The system can drive and steer the ship at the same time.

ABB claims its Azipod propulsion systems are also dominating the growing icebreaking and icebreaking cargo ship sector.

"Our engineers continue to innovate, like they did 25 years ago, to ensure Azipod propulsion meets the demands from a diverse range of ship owners. Much has changed in the shipping sector since we introduced the first Azipod but the desire for efficiency, manoeuvrability and reliability remains the same. The fact that Azipod propulsion remains the dominant force in podded electric propulsion shows our commitment to meet our customers' needs," said Juha Koskela, managing director of ABB's Marine and Ports business, last month.

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