ABB Azipod® electric propulsion makes bulk carrier debut in Oldendorff ship delivery

Source: press release, 18 January 2021

21,500-DWT transshipment bulker ‘Calypso’
21,500-DWT transshipment bulker ‘Calypso’ (photo: Oldendorff Carriers)

China’s Chengxi Shipyard hands over the first of twin self-unloading transshipment newbuilds after both owner and builder highlight successful installation and commissioning for Azipod® propulsion.

The delivery saw two 1.9-MW Azipod® units installed on each of the 21,500-DWT transshipment bulkers for Germany’s largest bulk carrier owner, as part of a package of electric, digital and connected solutions from ABB. The scope of supply also included diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling, as well as a 50/60-Hz connectors to draw on zero emission shore power when in port.

“Collaborating with ABB has been a very positive experience,” says Joern Westfehling, Newbuilding Manager, Oldendorff Carriers. “We look forward to reaping the operational rewards of Azipod® propulsion, such as enhanced vessel efficiency and increased manoeuvrability.”

Jiafa Jiang, Vice General Manager of Chenxi Shipyard (Yangzhou) Co., Ltd adds, “This was Chengxi Shipyard’s first time installing Azipod® technology, and the process went remarkably smoothly. Compared to a conventional propulsion system, ABB Azipod® propulsion has greatly reduced the construction complexity for the yard thanks to its simple design and ease of installation. ABB worked seamlessly with Chenxi Shipyard to ensure successful delivery of this world’s first self-unloading transshipment vessel. I would like to devote my appreciation to the ABB project and commissioning team for their professional working spirit.”

Controlling a fleet of around 700 ships, around 95% of Oldendorff’s owned fleet is comprised of “eco” newbuilds delivered since 2014, which are specifically designed for low fuel consumption and reduced carbon footprint. And since its forthcoming vessels will be tasked with transferring cargo from oceangoing ships in deep water for delivery to a port with restricted draft and space, manoeuvrability is also a vital consideration.

“We are delighted that the first bulk carriers to feature Azipod® propulsion have been successfully delivered,” says Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “The project fully demonstrates that Azipod® is the go-to solution for environmentally conscious operators of all ship types. Because the electric drive motor is housed within a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod® unit is capable of 360-degree rotation, improving manoeuvrability and operational efficiency. This also frees up cargo space on board, potentially boosting vessel profitability further.”

Over the course of three decades, ABB has supplied Azipod® units for around 25 vessel types, with the propulsion system accumulating more than 17 million running hours in that time. As a flexible, proven fuel-saving technology, Azipod® system has played a key role in developing ABB’s strong position for environmentally friendly electric propulsion.