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Design, Engineering & Safety

ABB Azipod Units For Mega-Crane Vessel

ABB is to supply an entire electric system and five high performance Azipod propulsion units for a Chinese mega-crane vessel.

The Hua Tian Long is 175 metres long and weighs 42,500 gross tonnes, making it one of the largest salvage vessels in Asia.  It will feature an advanced power and diesel electric system that will comprise of medium voltage switchboards including power management systems, generators, transformers, frequency converters, motor and Azipod thrusters.

The retractable Azipod units, which are to be retrofitted on a ship for the first time, will be able to enter shallow harbours and dry-dock without the need for thruster removal. The retractable propulsion units facilitate a reduction in operational risk as thruster maintenance on the ship deck during drilling is enabled.  Furthermore, when in transit, the forward units are lifted inside the hull to reduce resistance and thereby reducing fuel consumption.

The Azipods reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% due to the electric drive motor which is placed in a submerged pod outside the ship hull.  It also enhances accurate decimetre maneuverability.

Heikki Soljama, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports Division, commented: “The application of the retractable design marks another innovative step in the evolution of the Azipod propulsion system.  This unique innovation reiterates our focus on technology leadership as a key differentiating element in ABB’s Next Level strategy”. 

The ship will be retrofitted at You Lian Dockyards (Shekou) Limited, in China, and is scheduled to be delivered back to the customer at the end of 2016.

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