The Azipod propulsion system can rotate 360°, increasing manoeuvrability and efficiency (Image: ABB)
ABB has won a €157 million (US$175 million) contract to supply power, propulsion and digital solutions for Genting Hong Kong’s six Universal-class vessels.
Each of the new ships will be propelled by twin Azipod electric propulsion units, which will run on LNG. The Azipod system places the electric drive motor in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, allowing it to be rotated 360° to increase manoeuvrability and efficiency. They will also be able to connect to ABB’s Ability Collaborative Operations Center infrastructure, which monitors the performance of ABB technology onboard and connects operators with the company’s experts.
“Azipod propulsion has become an industry benchmark for environmentally friendly cruise technology, with its proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems,” said Josh Koskela, managing director of ABB Marine and Ports. "Fuel savings of over 900,000 tons have been made in the cruise segment alone due to the selection of Azipod propulsion.”
The six vessels will be 286 metres long and range in capacity from 1,000 to 4,000 passengers, depending on whether they are luxury, premium or contemporary class. They will be constructed by shipbuilder MV Werften at its German facilities in Wismar, Rostock and Straslund, with delivery due in 2023-2024. Genting will then operate the ships on behalf of global hotel brands which want to enter the cruise industry.
“These vessels represent the next generation of cruising with their high flexibility, sustainable profile and highest safety and efficiency standards,” said Gustaf Gronberg, executive vice president of marine operations and newbuilding for Genting Hong Kong. “ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion, known for its unparalleled performance, environmental credentials and reliability, has been a natural choice for these vessels.”
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