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ABB to power all three new Virgin Voyages cruise ships

Each 110,000gt cruise ship will feature ABB’s complete electric power plant concept
ABB is to supply the complete electric power and propulsion package for the Virgin Voyages fleet.

The initial Virgin Voyages cruise ship, due for delivery in 2020, will be the first in a series of three being built in Genoa by Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard, with the second and third vessel deliveries scheduled for 2021 and 2022.

Each of the 110,000gt ships will be 278mtr long and 38mtr wide and accommodate more than 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew.

Each features ABB’s Azipod propulsion, a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull.

Azipod propulsion cuts fuel consumption by up to 15%

Azipod propulsion has proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 15% compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems, says ABB.

‘Making Virgin Voyages environmentally sustainable is central to our vision and we are delighted ABB’s Azipod propulsion will help us achieve that goal. Combined with excellent maneuverability, it was a natural choice for our ships,’ said Stuart Hawkins, svp, marine and technical operations for Virgin Voyages.

‘Azipod electric propulsion stands for innovation and efficiency like no other propulsion system and is fundamental to our vision of electric, digital and connected shipping,’ said Peter Terwiesch, president ABB's Industrial Automation division.

Two Azipod XO units, with a combined propulsion power of 32 MW (43,000 HP) will propel each of the three ships.

ABB’s complete electric power plant concept

Each vessel will feature ABB’s complete electric power plant concept, a solution encompassing electricity generators, main switchboards, distribution transformers and a remote control system for maneuvering the Azipod units from the bridge.

The combination of Azipod propulsion and ABB’s electric power plant concept makes it possible to configure all of the equipment for optimized performance, resulting in increased efficiency and lower emissions.

In line with ABB’s ‘Electric. Digital. Connected.’ approach that envisages shipping’s digital and connected future, these vessels will have the capability to connect to the ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centers infrastructure.

This network uses remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, planned interventions and even remote technical support.

The four-stroke engines powering the electricity generators – four per vessel – will be equipped with ABB’s TPL-C turbochargers, designed to handle demanding operations and consistently chosen for large cruise ships for their reliability and efficiency.

Azipods powering 100 cruise ships

Since the first installation over 25 years ago, Azipod propulsion has saved approximately 700,000 tons of fuel while clocking up close to 15m running hours at an availability rate of 99.8%. In March, Azipod propulsion secured its 100th cruise ship contract.

By being placed outside of the hull, the Azipod propulsion system frees up space for more cabins. Due to minimal noise and vibration, Azipod propulsion also improves passenger and crew comfort.

The units’ ability to turn in all directions increases cruise ships’ access to ports without tug assistance. Options for Azipod propulsion now span 1.5MW to 22MW.