Photo: Azipod; Source: ABB

ABB to provide icebreaking propulsion to fleet of newbuild LNG carriers

Finland-based technology company ABB has won a contract worth over $300 million from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering to supply a power and propulsion package for six new LNG transport vessels along the Northern Sea Route.

ABB said on Monday that each of the six newbuild vessels would feature a trio of the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units ever supplied for ships operating in ice.

Together, the giant 17 MW Azipod units will provide a total power of 51 MW – 68,400 BHP – enabling the vessels to navigate safely through ice up to 2.1-meter thick. In similar conditions, comparable ships without this ABB system would require icebreaker assistance.

The Azipod propulsion system, where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, can rotate 360 degrees to boost manoeuvrability, which is particularly crucial for vessels operating in ice. The new LNG carriers will be classed to ARC7 – the highest ice class rating for merchant vessels.

The order follows the successful delivery of ABB’s leading-edge technology for the 15-ship series servicing the Yamal LNG project – one of the largest orders ever for ABB Marine & Ports, completed in 2019.

Juha Koskela, division president of ABB Marine & Ports, said: “We are proud to see our technology to be once again chosen for demanding operations in the Arctic.

We are committed to supporting the growing Arctic maritime industries with our unparalleled technology that has over the years proven to enable safe, sustainable operations and ensures year-round transportation of cargoes across the Northern Sea Route”.

Upon delivery starting from 2023, the six vessels will service Arctic LNG 2 – one of the largest industrial projects in the Arctic – and will each have the capacity to transport 170,000 cbm of LNG.

So far, ABB has delivered electric propulsion systems to over 90 icebreakers or ice-going vessels with Azipod propulsion spans ranging from 1MW to 22MW.

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