Azipods get ‘extreme ice’ endorsement

Azipod propulsion units on a cruise ship Azipod propulsion units on a cruise ship
Industry Database

ABB reports that it has received endorsement from two Russian customers on the performance of Azipod propulsion units in particularly harsh marine environments.

The impending fourth anniversary of the delivery of the ice breaking tug Polar Pevek has prompted the vessel’s technical management company OOO Polarus to offer its approval of Azipod propulsion technology as the “right choice” for extreme ice conditions.

Delivered by Aker Langsten in June 2006, the 940 dwt Polar Pevek is owned through the GC Rieber Shipping/Primorsk Shipping joint venture Polar Pevek, registered in Cyprus. The DnV Ice 10 IB offers 115 tonnes of bollard pull ahead, and 95 tonnes astern. At 74.6m long, the vessel features generators, main switchboard, propulsion drives and two 5 MW Azipod units, all of which have been supplied by ABB.

Helge Skarshaug, OOO Polarus general director said: “During four years of operation at the DeKastri oil terminal as an ice breaking tug, Polar Pevek has not experienced any unscheduled docking. Azipod propulsion has proven to be the right choice.” Skarshaug also said that, as the company’s sole ice breaker, Polar Pevek had been deployed as a multi-purpose vessel, undertaking ice management duties, oil spill response, towage, and mooring assistance. “The Azipod technology has shown itself to work to our satisfaction in all of these applications.”

Operating in the Sakhalin field for the last five years, Fesco Sakhalin, operated by Far East Shipping Company, is a 3,950 dwt, DnV Ice 10 IB icebreaking support ship. Delivered in 2005 by Aker Finnyards, the 99.9m long Fesco Sakhalin features an ABB main switchboard, generators and propulsion drives, but in this case two 6.5 MW Azipod units. Fesco Sakhalin faces drift ice coming from Arctic waters, with ice thicknesses up to 150cm.

FESCO superintendent, Konstatin Opolonik, said: “Fesco Sakhalin has operated for over five years in a difficult ice environment. During this period there has not been any off-hire time and only minor challenges with technical equipment. We have been able to solve them because of the vessel’s skilled crew and the cooperation with ABB and its partners. FESCO is satisfied with the performance and reliability of the Azipod propulsion system.”

ABB says that its Azipod propulsion units have accumulated more than 5 million operating hours in some of the most demanding marine applications, including icebreakers and ice breaking cargo vessels, luxury cruise ships, research and offshore supply vessels, as well as drilling rigs, ferries and megayachts. The on-duty availability of the Azipod system in these vessels is claimed to be about 99.8%.

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