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ABB Azipod Propulsion Tech Boosted by SKF Technology

ABB is working alongside SKF to extend the life of their Azipod propulsion units and enable liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrying ice-breaking tankers to operate in harsh Arctic conditions.

The azipod propulsion units will feature SKF’s custom made thrust bearing arrangements, incorporating housing and seals, and high performance self-aligning CARB toroidal roller bearings for the propeller shafts. In addition to the bearing arrangements.

ABB’s Azipod propulsion units are currently being installed on LNG ice-breaking tankers of 170,000m3 for the purpose of the Yamal project that is designed to open up gas from the Yamal peninsula and transport it to Asia and Europe. ABB Marine has also worked with SKF to further develop the Azipod units for ten LNG carriers to operate in this peninsula.

In addition SKF is also providing other technologies for the icebreaking tankers, including the Turbulo Bilge water separators and SKF BlueMon, an environmental monitoring system for recording and mapping ship emissions.

The Yamal peninsula project will see the first vessels commissioned in South Korea in 2016 and is expected to produce 16.5 million metric tonnes of LNG per year.

Sami Kontturi, Project Manager at SKF, commented: With our engineering support and products we can help ABB and its Azipod propulsion units to deliver enhanced performance and efficiency on the LNG carriers as the Yamal project takes a great step forward in the global search for natural resources.”

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