Tug beats fuel savings forecast in Azipod D trials

ABB's first bunker-saving Azipod D propulsion system now in operation.



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Updated on 08 Dec 2017 15:15 GMT

Propulsion solutions provider ABB has revealed that an 8,000-kilowatt (kW) rescue tug - the first vessel installed with its Azipod D electric propulsion system - has been successfully delivered to customer Guangzhou Salvage Bureau, a division of the Chinese Ministry of Transport.

The vessel was built by Huangpu Wenchong Shipyard. Before delivery, the rescue tug was tested in sea trials where it is said to have exceeded design targets in fuel economy, manoeuvrability, bollard pull and low-load performance.

According to ABB, the Azipod D product portfolio, available across a power range from 1.5 MW to 7.5 MW, incorporates thruster technology enabling installed power savings of up to 25 percent, less maintenance and significantly reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The design is said to be suitable for a wide range of vessel types.

Captain Shaohua Liu of the rescue tug, said: "We are really impressed with the vessel's performance. Response time and maneuverability, both of which are critical in our operations, are excellent. Less power was required than we expected for a given function. The Azipod D has exceeded our expectations by far."

Jaakko Aho, Vice President Thruster Products, ABB Marine & Ports, remarked: "The Azipod D range demonstrates our continuing drive to raise efficiency and cut lifetime running costs. More can now be achieved with less, and the scalable Azipod D is suitable for an even broader range of applications compared with earlier units."

Referring to the product range itself, Aho commented: "With proven reliability, lower installed power requirements, economic efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements, we are confident of out-performing our peers and strengthening our position as the supplier of choice for high-end thrusters."

Alf Kare Adnanes, head of ABB China Marine & Ports, noted that the project is a result of partnering in the marine cluster of yards, designers, class and ship owners, and a 'Made in China' model for production and execution. "These products are built to the company's sector-leading standards by ABB in China. As the new construction market turns up, we are certain that our Azipod D technology will be in heavy demand across a range of discerning operators and their specific requirements in many sectors."