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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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ABB launches advisory systems to cut fuel costs

An integrated power, automation and advisory system can help slash fuel consumption by up to 20%, says ABB.



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Updated on 19 Sep 2012 14:31 GMT

Power and automation technology group ABB has announced that it has introduced several new software applications for the marine market that will aim to help all types of ocean vessels dramatically reduce their fuel consumption. These advisory systems include the latest versions of ABB's energy management system for marine applications (EMMA) and Amarcon's Octopus solution.

With the recent acquisition of Amarcon, and the official launch of Advisory Systems during Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology International Trade (SMM) in Hamburg, Germany, earlier this month, ABB says it is now able to provide a vertically integrated power and automation set of solutions that will help ship-owners increase productivity and safety of vessel operation while minimizing fuel consumption and environmental impacts.

"For the first time in history, the daily operational costs of a vessel have surpassed its daily building costs. Fuel consumption is becoming the highest operational expenditure for each and every vessel of the global fleet, and one of the biggest environmental concerns. Fuel accounts for between 30-40 percent of the cost of running a cruise ship and between 50-60 percent for most merchant vessels. Reducing fuel consumption by just 1 percent can mean an annual saving of $50,000 for a mid-sized bulk carrier and $300,000 a year for a large container ship. In a world where fuel savings have become a requirement for ship operators, a vessel with an integrated power, automation and advisory system that can help slash its fuel consumption by up to 20% represents a substantial competitive advantage," ABB said.

ABB's new ship advisory and automation systems suite incorporate a full range of vessel information and control technology that allows ship operators to monitor and calculate the optimum utilization of power on-board. The recent acquisition of Amarcon in the second quarter this year is designed to complement and strengthen ABB's portfolio in this area.

"By aggregating Amarcon systems into ABB's solutions, we are now able to provide the widest portfolio of optimization tools available on the market," said Heikki Soljama, Head of business unit Marine and Cranes. "With these solutions, we are better equipped to help ship operators reduce fuel consumption efficiently and provide added-value technology to all ship owners."

Earlier this year, ABB won an order to provide an energy management system for one of the world's most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries, which is due to be delivered to Viking Line in 2013. ABB also won an order from Rickmers Group in Germany to supply advisory systems for dynamic trim optimization and fleet management solutions for five multi-purpose vessels. These systems are aimed at helping ship management teams operate their vessels with the highest fuel and energy efficiency possible.

Over the years, ABB's engineers have developed solutions that are designed to increase energy efficiency and productivity of all types of vessels. In 2011, ABB launched the ground-breaking Onboard DC Grid, which distributes power through a single DC circuit instead of multiple connections, providing significant power savings. Earlier this year, ABB won its first order for this new system. It will allow a new offshore platform support vessel, under construction in Norway, to operate at the highest energy efficiency level to minimize emissions.

"This delivery is a landmark in our strategy, and we look forward to seeing the vessel operating with maximum efficiency next year, when it will be delivered to the end-user", said Heikki Soljama.

Also in 2011, ABB announced several improvements to its highly efficient Azipod< propulsion system. The new design combines improvements in the layout of the fin on the propeller increase efficiency up to 2.5% by reducing the losses from the propulsion system. Another design change for further fuel consumption savings optimizes the toe (steering) angle of the Azipod units dynamically, in addition to the angle optimization already undertaken at the vessel design stage, to provide an estimated extra 1.5% reduction in fuel consumption.

ABB's global Vessel Information and Control organization develops automation solutions specifically for marine applications, based on ABB's field-proven process automation technologies. The company's expanded portfolio of solutions for Marine Automation and Control systems consists of a broad range of marine advisory and fleet management reporting solutions, integrated automation, vessel management and control systems, and marine instrumentation and sensors, all of which aim to help optimize vessel operations and performance, improve energy efficiency, onboard equipment reliability and availability, and operational safety.






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