ABB modernisation revitalises icebreakers

CCGS Pierre Radisson ABB Drives have been installed onboard 38-year-old icebreaker 'CCGS Pierre Radisson'. Image courtesy of Cephas/ Wikimedia Commons
Industry Database

ABB has begun work to modernise and extend the life of a fleet of Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) icebreaker ships.

Hardware and software has been installed onboard 38-year-old icebreaker CCGS Pierre Radisson as part of an upgrade to the ship’s propulsion power distribution system that entailed the installation of twelve new DC-Drives and a complete propulsion control system.

Nathalie Pilon, president of ABB in Canada, said: “We are delighted the Government of Canada selected ABB to support the Canadian Coast Guard in a project of this magnitude and importance for the nation’s maritime infrastructure and we look forward to building upon and continuing a longstanding cooperative relationship that will safeguard the fleet for many years to come.”

Extended sea time

The upgrade of CCGS Pierre Radisson includes installation of ABB Drives to improve availability and extend endurance, allowing the ship to spend more time at sea.

Twin AC/DC Diesel-Electric propulsion systems were fitted for greater redundancy, with each featuring a DC electric motor connected directly to the vessel’s propeller.

Digital sensors were also attached to a variety of onboard equipment to provide shore-based engineers with a virtual presence onboard to help diagnose problems and reduce vessel downtime.

The contract between ABB and CCG includes the option to modernise two other ships in the CCG fleet, CCGS Des Groseilliers and CCGS Amundsen, both of which have clocked up more than 30 years of service.

ABB will also upgrade 10 of the CCG’s 13 high endurance multi-task vessels as well as heavy and medium icebreakers.

The upgrades will take place in succession between now and 2020.

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