Over 700,000 tonnes of fuel saved with electric propulsion system

Azipod propulsion system is said to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

Image credit:

Updated on 26 May 2016 12:24 GMT

ABB estimates that the total fuel savings of the entire installed Azipod fleet since being launched is more than 700,000 tonnes.

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. The most advanced port icebreaker will feature four Azipod propulsion units placed in an innovative design to allow the vessel to operate either bow or stern first, the company says.

The entire installed Azipod propulsion unit base is said to have accumulated 12 million operating hours in merchant, offshore and special vessel segments.

"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.