Chinese Yard orders ABB propulsion system for giant offshore wind installation vessel

Chinese shipyard Yantai CIMC Raffles has ordered an integrated power, automation and propulsion system from ABB for a new jack-up offshore wind installation vessel (JUV) being built for Dutch marine contractor Van Oord.

Vessel, Boreas, is due for delivery to the owner in the second half of 2024, and is said to be one of the largest and most technologically advanced hybrid units of the type in service, measuring 175 meters in length.

It will be able to lift over 3,000 tonnes and will feature 126-meter-high legs allowing it to operate at depths of up to 70 meters, with a capacity to install up to 20 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind turbines. .

“Boreas will be equipped with four Azipod propulsion units with a combined propulsion power of 16 megawatts, providing significant space and weight savings as well as an optimal vessel design, allowing the vessel to carry heavier loads. Additionally, ABB’s hybrid-electric propulsion system is fully scalable as it allows for the integration of new power sources once they become available,” ABB said.

Azipod propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is housed in a pod outside the ship’s hull. Azipod units can rotate 360 ​​degrees, increasing vessel maneuverability and operational efficiency while reducing fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional shaft line systems.

“ABB is our long-term partner, and I believe we can strengthen the business relationship with ABB by working together for Van Oord Jack-Up Vessel,” said Sun Shiyan, Director, Supply Chain Management Center, Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard. “The ease of installation of the Azipod system was another key factor in our decision to use ABB; it involves plugging the ready-made units into the ship’s hull, which saves considerable time and effort in the construction process.

ABB’s package includes a closed ring configuration for safer, more efficient and more predictable operations.

“Furthermore, with its spinning reserve and peak load shaving capabilities, ABB’s energy storage system will act as a backup power source while reducing motor run hours to minimize wear and fuel consumption,” ABB said.

Remote diagnosis system

Van Oord will also be able to use the ABB Ability Marine remote diagnostics system for continuous monitoring of remote equipment, as well as to optimize machinery and scheduled maintenance activities, which will help reduce maintenance costs. Meanwhile, ABB Ability OCTOPUS – Marine Advisory System will enable performance management, predictive maintenance and voyage optimization.

“We are proud to have been chosen to provide power and propulsion to Boreasbased on our experience in the offshore JUV market and our ability to tailor products and solutions to the needs of the owner, operator and shipyard,” said Braastad Rune, Global Business Line Manager, Marine Systems, ABB Marine & Ports. “This project further confirms that our integrated package comprising power, energy storage, automation, control and digital solutions is the preferred choice for vessels that need to be scalable and environmentally friendly.”

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