ABB secures first marine automation contract in China

ABB secures first marine automation contract in China
The new cruise ferry's LNG engines, energy-efficient systems and two rotor sails will help to lower her environmental impact (Image: Viking Line)

ABB is to deliver a marine automation system for a China-built cruise ferry for the first time, after signing an agreement to implement its technology onboard Viking Line’s new LNG vessel.

Currently under construction at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co’s yard, the 2,800-passenger cruise ferry will be equipped with the ABB Ability System 800xA. The solution is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and consolidates power, propulsion and vessel management systems into one platform. This will provide crew and onshore personnel with a comprehensive overview of the newbuild’s operational performance, while the additional marine automation functionality will improve project management and vessel efficiency.

Viking Line’s ice-class newbuild will also benefit from ABB’s electrical power generation, distribution systems and bow thruster motors. Plus, she will be the first cruise ferry in the world to feature ABB’s twin XO 2100-type Azipod propulsion units. These technologies, combined with her optimised hull shape, energy-saving systems, LNG engines from Wärtsilä and twin 24-metre-high rotor sails, will make the vessel 10% more energy efficient than Viking Grace, which debuted as the world’s first LNG-powered large passenger ship in January 2013.

The newbuild is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2020 and is expected to start providing passenger and freight services between Turku in Finland, the Åland islands and Stockholm in Sweden from early 2021.

“On her delivery, this vessel will be the most efficient cruise ferry operating in the Baltic, if not the world,” said Jan Hanses, president and CEO of Viking Line. “Extending our arrangement with ABB to include the full automation package made perfect sense, given that ABB has the dedicated local automation team and access to global engineering resources that will ensure both responsiveness and the delivery of a vessel benefiting from the highest levels of systems integration.”

ABB now aims to secure similar contracts with other Chinese shipbuilders.

“Chinese shipbuilding is one of the most significant markets for ABB’s power, propulsion and automation system,” said Alf Kåre Adnanes, head of ABB’s Marine and Ports business in China. “Chinese shipyards are diversifying their portfolios, and ABB’s long history in the cruise sector is particularly relevant to China’s shipbuilders. We are part of an existing shipping cluster and can support Chinese shipyards in their strategy to build cruise vessels for China and for global customers.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, November 15, 2018