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Marine Log

Converteam's new electric propulsion solution

February 20, 2007

New electric propulsion system for NCL cruise newbuilds

Converteam has been awarded a multi-million euro contract by Aker Yards to supply electric power and propulsion systems on two new cruise ships for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL).

The ships, to be built at Aker Yards in Saint-Nazaire (France), will be 325 meters long and 40 meters wide, with a gross tonnage of approximately 150,000 and 4,200 passenger berths. The first vessel will be delivered at the end of 2009 and the second in 2010.

Converteam says the contract is a milestone for several reasons. It is the company's first large assignment for NCL and the vessels will be the first cruise ships fully equipped with Converteam's new electric propulsion solution which is based on high-torque density induction motors and MV7000 converters, associated with advanced digital propulsion control.

The contract also includes twelve generators (six per ship) with a total power of 160 MW, to be supplied by Converteam Ltd (UK), and twelve electric motors for thrusters (six per ship) with a total power of 30MW, to be manufactured at Converteam Motors' Nancy plant (France).

Each ship will be powered by two shaftlines, directly driven by two 24MW slow-speed induction motors.

Supplied through four MV7000 converters using press-pack IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) technology, these motors will help make the propulsion chain more reliable, more efficient and more compact.

Converteam says that passenger comfort will be improved thanks to a low level of noise and vibrations, and maintenance time will be significantly reduced by the use of induction motors and of converters with plug and play technology.

Jean-Charles Duriaud, Director of the Marine Division at Converteam in France, said: "This contract is the fruit of close cooperation between Aker Yards, NCL and our engineering and commercial teams, starting at the project's inception. Our partnership and Converteam's acknowledged expertise in marine propulsion and electric machines and drives was decisive in the choice of our solution. "

Converteam was previously the power conversion division of the ALSTOM Group. On November 10, 2005 Barclays Private Equity France (BPEF) became its new shareholder and on March 30, 2006 the company was renamed Converteam Group SAS.