ABB’s Azipod propulsion system has added bulk carriers to its portfolio, following the installation aboard the first of two transhipment newbuilds by China’s Chengxi Shipyard for German operator Oldendorff Carriers
Two 1.9-MW Azipod units were installed on each of the 21,500-dwt transhipment bulkers as part of a package of electric, digital and connected solutions from ABB. The scope of supply included a diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling, as well as 50/60-Hz connectors to draw on zero-emissions shore power when in port.
Oldendorff newbuilding manager Joern Westfehling said “Collaborating with ABB has been a very positive experience. We look forward to reaping the operational rewards of Azipod propulsion, such as enhanced vessel efficiency and increased manoeuvrability.”
Chengxi Shipyard vice-general manager Jiafa Jiang said in contrast to conventional propulsion, the Azipod propulsion unit’s design “greatly reduced the construction complexity for the yard”.
Mr Jiang added “ABB worked seamlessly with Chenxi Shipyard to ensure successful delivery of this world’s first self-unloading transhipment vessel. I would like to thank the ABB project and commissioning team for their professional working spirit.”
ABB Marine & Ports division president Juha Koskela said “We are delighted that the first bulk carriers to feature Azipod propulsion have been successfully delivered. The project fully demonstrates that Azipod is the go-to solution for environmentally conscious operators of all ship types. Because the electric drive motor is housed within a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod unit is capable of 360° rotation, improving manoeuvrability and operational efficiency. This also frees up cargo space on board, potentially boosting vessel profitability further.”
Oldendorff’s owned fleet is comprised of ‘eco’ newbuilds delivered since 2014, which are specifically designed for low fuel consumption and a reduced carbon footprint. Improved manoeuvrability is a key concern as the company’s forthcoming vessels will be tasked with transferring cargo from oceangoing ships in deep water for delivery to a port with restricted draft and space.
Representatives from Oldendorff will speak about future-proofed bulk carriers at Riviera’s upcoming Bulk Carriers Webinar Week.