Apr 5, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

ABB has secured a contract with Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turku to supply an integrated power and propulsion package comprising two Azipod propulsion units and the Onboard DC Grid power system for two new, advanced multi-purpose patrol vessels for the Finnish Border Guard.

ABB says that by increasing power train efficiency and future-proofing the vessels for the adoption of alternative energy sources, the Onboard DC Grid will help the Finnish Border Guard to meet environmental targets in the short and long term. The system platform’s flexibility will facilitate the integration of additional mission systems as requirements evolve, while its fault tolerance and reliability will result in safer, more efficient operations.

Due for delivery in 2025 and 2026, the 98m ships will replace the outgoing Tursas and Uisko patrol vessels. Alongside the existing Turva, they will be guarding Finland’s borders, performing maritime rescue operations and helping mitigate environmental impacts. The new vessels will serve as command bases for other vessels, helicopters, rescue swimmers, divers, and, when necessary, other public security authorities during joint operations. With them, the ability to carry out mass evacuations will grow to more than 400 people and the capacity to collect spilled oil will approximately double from the present level.

Patrolling the Finnish coast, which is characterised by rocky waters, jagged shoreline and challenging winter conditions, sets high demands for the vessels. ABB’s dual Azipod propulsors are expected to provide the manoeuvrability and ice-breaking capabilities to optimise performance and safety while enhancing crew comfort by minimising vibrations.

Alongside Onboard DC Grid and Azipod propulsion, ABB’s scope of supply includes the Power and Energy Management System (PEMS). As the core of a vessel’s combined power and control system, ABB’s PEMS ensures optimal use of total onboard power resources in a safe, energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly manner.

Cdr Marko Aheristo, Head of Ship Technical Unit, Finnish Border Guard said: “Our new patrol vessels will be at sea about 330 days a year, performing operations under busy and diverse conditions. The vessels are designed for low-emission operations and for energy efficiency, and need a versatile and sophisticated power and propulsion system based on advanced, proven technology. ABB provides us with an integrated package that meets our stringent requirements, ensuring rapid functional capacity and continuous readiness to keep people, property and nature safe.”

Antti Ruohonen, Head of Marine Propulsion, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “We are proud to have been chosen by the Finnish Border Guard for this important and forward-thinking project and look forward to continuing our long-standing collaboration with Meyer Turku. With this order, ABB further demonstrates its position as preferred system integrator for challenging and diverse vessel operations.”

ABB says its presence in the coast guard segment has grown in recent years. Between 2017 and 2020, ABB modernised a total of 10 Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessels to extend their lifespan by 20 years. In 2021, CCG awarded ABB a National Individual Standing Offer (NISO) to provide full-scope services for equipment installed onboard these vessels. In 2019, the Norwegian Coast Guard’s KV Svalbard became the first ever Azipod-powered ship to reach the North Pole.

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