Aug 30, 2023 | Marine propulsion & machinery news

ABB has received an order from Guangzhou Shipyard International to supply an Azipod DI propulsion system for a new compact icebreaker for China’s Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering.

The ship is expected to be delivered in 2025, after which it will begin to carry out operations in the Arctic and Antarctic Ocean.

A complete electric propulsion system including two 4.5 MW Azipod units will drive the vessel through harsh weather and thick first-year ice to enable research on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The 103m vessel will have a maximum speed of 16 knots, displacement of about 9,200t, and icebreaking capacity of 1.2m ice and 20cm snow at the continuous speed of two knots. The ship is designed to operate both bow first and astern in ice with an enhanced Polar Class 4 (PC4) ice-breaking level. With a capacity of cruising range of 15,000 naut miles, it can accommodate a crew of 80 people.

The new research vessel will be equipped to China Classification Society (CCS) Level 2 notation standards on digitalisation and fulfil Underwater Rated Noise Silent A notation. Silent A notation covers vessels that are ‘acoustically sensitive’, whose underwater noise emissions are controlled to benefit data capture and minimise ecological impact. The criteria are designed to limit high frequency noise while mitigating the practical challenges of reducing low frequency noise from propellers and the main engine.

Vice Chief Engineer, Guangzhou Shipyard, Guangwei He, said: “ABB has extensive experience and a strong local presence in delivering propulsion products, systems and support we can trust. Polar Class vessels represent a growing area of expertise for GSI, and we are delighted to work with a reliable partner whose reference list for proven technology in this demanding segment is unrivalled.”

Kerry Yang, Division Manager, ABB Marine & Ports China, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to cooperate with GSI again. This marks the 20th year since ABB Marine & Ports established itself locally in China and we continue to take great pride in localising our products and services to meet regional requirements in the best possible way.”

The propulsion units supplied will represent ABB’s compact Azipod DI range, which has been developed for both robustness and simplicity, and to offer strength and reliability in the most challenging ice conditions. ABB says its technology has been installed on over 150 ice-class and icebreaking vessels. With the electric drive motor situated in a submerged pod outside the hull and the ability to rotate 360 degrees, Azipod units enable independent ice-breaking and claim better manoeuvrability compared to shaftline solutions.

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