Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has placed an order with ABB worth US$150M to supply Azipod propulsion systems for five cruise ship newbuilds
Each cruise ship will be powered by twin Azipod units, bringing the total ordered propulsion power for the five newbuilds to 178 MW. Part of the order includes the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units ever to be installed at Fincantieri, rating at 20 MW each. The vessels will enter service between 2023 and 2026.
More than 100 cruise ships have been equipped with Azipods since their introduction three decades ago, with the first units installed at Fincantieri in the late 1990s. With the ability to rotate 360 degrees, the podded drives significantly increasing manoeuvrability and operating efficiency of a vessel and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional shaftline systems, according to ABB.
ABB estimates that Azipod propulsion has saved a total of over 900,000 tonnes of fuel in the passenger cruise segment alone.
Each cruise ship newbuild at Fincantieri will also feature ABB’s integrated electric power plant setup, encompassing generators, drives, switchboards, propulsion transformers and a remote-control system to manoeuvre the Azipod units from the bridge. Combining Azipod propulsion with the electric power plant allows to configure all relevant equipment for optimised performance, resulting in increased efficiency and sustainability of operations.
These vessels will have the capability to integrate the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations infrastructure and centres for remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, planned interventions and remote technical support.