VIDEO: How ABB technology supports sustainable Arctic shipping

Written by Nick Blenkey
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ABB’s electric, digital and connected solutions are helping to ensure that vessels operating on one of the world’s most arduous supply routes can continue to operate sustainably. (Image copyright Sovcomflot)

The Northern Sea Route allows cargo to be transferred from northern Europe to northeast Asia, via the Bering Strait. It offers a 30 percent faster passage than the southern Europe-Asia alternative via the Suez Canal. That is making it increasingly attractive to shipping companies, thanks to considerable fuel and emission savings.

To safeguard the delicate Arctic ecosystem, vessels operating in the Northern Sea Route must be fitted with the most sustainable technologies.

Russia’s Sovcomflot operates the world’s largest ice-class fleet powered by ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion, which cuts fuel consumption while negating the need for separate icebreaker escorts.

To assist vessels on these extreme voyages, ABB has opened a dedicated Marine Service Center in the northern Russian port of Murmansk, offering 24/7 support. Sovcomflot’s vessels are among over 1,000 ships supported by the ABB Ability Collaborative Operation Centers worldwide, from where ABB experts monitor operational shipboard systems, coordinate equipment diagnostics and offer predictive maintenance services.

Speaking about digitally connected ships operating in remote areas, Jyri Jusslin, Global Head of Service, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “We can support them. We can spot problems even before the crew, so we can say: ‘Have a look at this and let’s fix it before it stops your operation’.”

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