Fincantieri orders mid-range Azipods for four cruise shipsWritten by Marine Log Staff
ABB has secured a contract from Fincantieri to deliver a total of eight mid-range Azipod propulsion systems for four forthcoming medium-sized cruise vessels. The ships are due for delivery in 2024, 2025, 2026 and in 2027.
“We are looking forward to working with our long-term, trusted partner ABB on these newbuilds that promise optimum sustainability, passenger comfort and safety,” said Massimo Costa, vice president purchasing at Fincantieri’s merchant ships division. “The Azipod propulsion system has demonstrated its value in the cruise sector over three decades and has become the industry standard, meaning that the customer can count on proven technology and unparalleled experience.”
Each of the four cruise ships will be equipped with two 7.7-megawatt Azipod propulsion units per vessel. The system meets the design requirements of modern medium-sized vessels, while the technology’s ability to optimize maneuverability and reduce vibrations and noise provides smoother, safer cruising and ensures an enhanced guest experience.
With the electric drive motor housed within a pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod system can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability and allowing vessels to dock in harbors where turning circles are restricted. Azipod propulsion also improves a ship’s hydrodynamic performance and cuts fuel consumption by up to 20% compared with a traditional shaftline setup, according to ABB. Space saved by locating the motor outside the ship allows for more flexible design and frees up space for cabins, cargo or other features.
“We are honored to supply an integrated propulsion system to ensure the ultimate cruise experience onboard these four vessels,” said Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports. “This order represents a significant milestone for our advanced mid-range Azipod propulsors, once again demonstrating their environmental and operational benefits.”
The Azipod system features ABB’s fourth-generation permanent magnet motors, which have been refined for added power and efficiency, while a simple but robust design offers ease of maintenance and reliability. The system’s compatibility with alternative energy sources makes it a future-proof solution that is ready to work with new, cleaner fuels as soon as these become available.
Alongside the two mid-range Azipod units for each ship, ABB’s full scope of supply includes propulsion drives, transformers and control systems. The comprehensive setup offers high system redundancy to further promote safety and reliability.