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ABB to boost five Fincantieri newbuilds

Fincantieri's Luigi Matarazzo said the shipyard is advancing its commitment to environmentally friendly shipping
Five newbuilds at Fincantieri will be fitted with ABB Azipod electric propulsion to cut fuel consumption, at a cost to the shipyard of $150m.

The ships, due to enter service between 2023 and 2026, will be powered by twin Azipod units, bringing their total propulsion power to 178 MW. Part of the order includes the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units to be installed at the Italian shipyard, with each measuring 20 MW. 

The contract also sees ABB agree to supply Fincantieri with a comprehensive scope of technologies.  

Azipod technology

Each vessel will feature ABB’s integrated electric power plant setup, encompassing generators, drives, switchboards, propulsion transformers and a remote-control system to maneuver the Azipod units from the bridge. 

With the electric drive motor situated in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod system can rotate 360 degrees, significantly increasing maneuverability and operating efficiency and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional shaftline systems, according to ABB.

The ships will be able to leverage ABB Ability Collaborative Operations infrastructure and centers, which use remote equipment monitoring and data analytics to enable predictive maintenance, planned interventions and remote technical support.

Eco-conscious cruising 

‘Our collaboration with ABB spans over two decades, with the first Azipod propulsion installation at Fincantieri dating back to the late 1990s,' commented Luigi Matarazzo, general manager merchant ships division, Fincantieri, as he discussed the shipybuilder making further advances in its 'commitment to environmentally friendly shipping.’ Fincantieri selected efficient Wärtsilä systems for eight new vessels earlier this month.

Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports, added the technology provider is ‘honored to support Fincantieri’s environmental goals’ in fulfilling passengers’ expectations for ‘sustainable journeys.’

One hundred cruise vessels currently use Azipod technology and since its launch three decades ago, Azipod propulsion has saved more than 900,000 tons of fuel in the cruise segment.