Virgin Voyages chooses ABB electric propulsion

A diesel-electric configuration with four engines and two Azipod units will deliver 32MW of propulsion power on Virgin Voyages' newbuilds A diesel-electric configuration with four engines and two Azipod units will deliver 32MW of propulsion power on Virgin Voyages' newbuilds

Fledgling cruise line Virgin Voyages has selected the propulsion configuration for its three ships under construction at Fincantieri’s Genoa yard, with ABB playing a key role.

Four medium-speed engines will power a combined 32MW propulsion package featuring two Azipod XO gearless thrusters. Each 110,000gt vessel will feature complete electric power plant from ABB, comprising electricity generators, main switchboards, distribution transformers and a remote-control system for manoeuvring the thrusters from the bridge.

“Making Virgin Voyages environmentally sustainable is central to our vision,” said Stuart Hawkins, senior vice president, marine and technical operations, Virgin Voyages. “ABB’s Azipod propulsion will help us achieve that goal. Combined with excellent manoeuvrability, it was a natural choice for our ships.”

The ships will also be connected to ABB’s Collaborative Operations Centers, which use remote monitoring and data analytics to provide predictive maintenance, planned interventions and remote technical support. The four-stroke engines will be equipped with ABB’s TPL-C turbochargers.

The vessels will be 278m loa and 38m wide, with capacity for 2,700 passengers and 1,150 crew. The first will be delivered in 2020, with sisters following each year to 2022.

ABB claims that its Azipod electric propulsion units can cut fuel consumption by up to 15% compared to conventional shaftline systems.

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