The polar research icebreaker is being built on behalf of the Chinese Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering (Source: Guangzhou Shipyard International)

ABB wins Azipod deal for polar research vessel

ABB is to supply an ice-class Azipod® DI electric propulsion system for a new polar research icebreaker to be built at Guangzhou Shipyard International in China (GSI).

The ship, which will have classification society DNV ‘SILENT A’ notation, is being built for China’s Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering and is due for delivery in 2025. It will undertake research on behalf of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Two 4.5-MW Azipod units will propel the 103-m long ship through the harsh weather conditions and thick first-year ice that prevail in Arctic and Antarctic Ocean waters. It will have accommodation for 80 persons and a range of 15,000 nautical miles.

With a draught displacement of about 9,200 tonnes, the Azipod propulsion setup will provide sufficient power to break ice 1.2m thick and snow of 0.2m at a continuous speed of two knots. With an enhanced Polar Class 4 ice-breaking level, the vessel will be capable of breaking ice using either bow or stern.

The ship will comply with CCS ‘LEVEL 2’ standards on digitalisation and meet Underwater Rated Noise requirements. Its ‘SILENT A’ notation covers vessels that are ‘acoustically sensitive’ on which underwater noise emissions are controlled. The criteria are designed to limit high frequency noise while the Azipod propulsion offsets the challenges of controlling low frequency noise and minimises ecological impact, ABB said.

Guangwei He, vice chief engineer of GSI, commented: “ABB has extensive experience and a strong local presence in delivering propulsion products, systems and support we can trust. Polar Class vessels represent a growing area of expertise for GSI, and we are delighted to work with a reliable partner whose reference list for proven technology in this demanding segment is unrivalled.”

ABB Marine & Ports China’s local division manager, Kerry Yang, said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to cooperate with GSI again. This marks the 20th year since ABB Marine & Ports established itself locally in China and we continue to take great pride in localising our products and services to meet regional requirements in the best possible way.”

With an electric drive motor housed in a submerged pod outside the hull and the ability to rotate through 360 degrees, Azipod units provide icebreaking flexibility and more effective manoeuvrability than shaft-line systems, ABB said. The company’s technology has now been installed on more than 150 ice-class and icebreaking vessels.

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore