ABB will supply 6 newbuild LNG carriers with a trio of the largest and most powerful Azipod propulsion units ever supplied for ships operating in ice. The ships will operate along the Northern Sea Route and can sail through ice up to 2.1 metres thick.

The contract was awarded to ABB by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and is worth in excess of USD 300 million. The scope of the contract also includes generators, switchboards, transformers, electric drives and propulsion control systems.

17-MW Azipod units

Together, the giant 17-MW Azipod units will provide a total power of 51 MW (68,400 HP), enabling the vessels to navigate safely through ice. In similar conditions and without this technology, comparable ships would require icebreaker assistance.

The Azipod propulsion system, where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, can rotate 360 degrees to boost manoeuvrability, which is particularly crucial for vessels operating in ice. The new LNG carriers will be classed to ARC7 – the highest ice class rating for merchant vessels.

The order follows the delivery of ABB’s technology for the 15-ship series servicing the Yamal LNG project in Russia – one of the largest orders ever for ABB Marine & Ports, completed in 2019.

‘We are proud to see our technology to be once again chosen for demanding operations in the Arctic,’ says Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. ‘We are committed to supporting the growing Arctic maritime industries with our unparalleled technology that has over the years proven to enable safe, sustainable operations and ensures year-round transportation of cargoes across the Northern Sea Route.’

Upon delivery starting from 2023, the six vessels will service Arctic LNG 2 – one of the largest industrial projects in the Arctic – and will each have the capacity to transport 170,000-m3 of LNG.