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ABB’s Azipod propulsion installed on Wasaline’s new ferry

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Azipod propulsion will ensure reliable performance for Wasaline’s new Aurora Botnia ferry, thus generating operating cost savings of up to four days of annual time.

The new ferry, launched by the Finnish shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions, will be run by Wasaline on the world’s northernmost all-year passenger route between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden.

At the start of the operation in 2021, Aurora Botnia will have the capacity to carry 800 passengers and up to 1,500 lane meters of trucks and cars, doing two round trips a day during the high season.

Dubbed one of the most environmentally friendly passenger ferries in the world, the 150-meter vessel is fitted with the Azipod electric propulsion ice class to ensure the most effective and safe service under any conditions.

“We chose ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion for several reasons. Superior maneuverability will save time and increase productivity, enabling precise schedules to be maintained on this route. We calculated likely annual time savings of close to four days of operation, which was compelling. The solution also saves valuable space on board and simplifies hull construction. Access to ABB’s training and support services in Finland were other major plus points.”

Peter Ståhlberg, Wasaline CEO.

The Azipod electrical propulsion system was transported to the shipyard, completely engineered and ready for immediate installation. It was mounted on the newbuild ferry by yard, under the supervision of the local ABB Marine & Ports commissioning team on schedule, and was successfully approved by yard, owner and classification society.

“We were able to install the Azipod units in just one week. For us as a shipbuilder, this translates into significant project flexibility by helping to optimize time and resources. Having fully engineered units has notably improved the completion of the vessel construction – the installation was literally about plugging the ready-made units into the vessel hull.”

Johanna Kaijo, Rauma Marine Constructions’ project manager in charge of the project.

The new vessel will operate on low-emission liquefied natural gas and will benefit from improved environmental and efficiency improvements as a result of the selection of ABB Azipod propulsion with permanent magnet engine technology.

Built to meet the requirements of the Polar Code 6, the vessel’s pair of 5.8MW Azipod systems, where the electric motor in a submerged pod outside the hull of the vessel, will rotate across 360 degrees, thus increasing maneuverability.

In addition to its proven ability to minimize fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to conventional propulsion, Azipod technology also improves on-board comfort for passengers and crew through its quiet and vibration-free service.

“Azipod propulsion is now a well-proven, sustainable and efficient solution for ferries. We are delighted that Wasaline have chosen our sector-leading technology for this high-profile Baltic project. Once more, this is an order that highlights our leading position in passenger ship propulsion.”

Juha Koskela, division president, ABB Marine & Ports.
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