Wasaline’s ‘Aurora Botnia’ receives Azipods

2020-09-24T17:20:35+00:00 September 24th, 2020|Technology|

Taking only a week to install, Wasaline’s new ferry ’Aurora Botnia’ was fitted with ABB’s patented Azipod propulsion units.

ABB claimed that by fitting the units, up to four days of annual time savings can be achieved, due to operational efficiency

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

Entering service in 2021, ’Aurora Botnia’ will have a capacity of 800 pax and up to 1,500 lane meters for trucks and cars and will complete two round trips per day in the high season.

Claimed to be one of the world’s most environmentally friendly passenger ferries, the 150 m vessel is equipped with the ice-class Azipod electric propulsion units.

“We chose ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion for several reasons,” said Peter Ståhlberg, Wasaline CEO. “Superior manoeuvrability 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,” he explained.

The Azipods were delivered to the shipyard fully engineered and ready for immediate installation. It was installed on the ferry by the yard under supervision of the local ABB Marine & Ports commissioning team according to schedule, successfully gaining acceptance by the yard, owner and class society.

Johanna Kaijo, RMC’s Project Manager in charge of the project, said that ease of installation was a key benefit. “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 optimise 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,” she said.

The new vessel will run on LNG and will benefit from greater environmental and efficiency gains, due to the selection of ABB Azipod propulsion with permanent magnet motor technology, the company claimed.

Designed to meet Polar Code 6 criteria, the vessel’s two 5.8MW Azipods can rotate through 360 deg thereby increasing manoeuvrability.

In addition to its proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20%, compared to traditional propulsion, Azipod technology also improves the on board experience for passengers and crew through its quiet-running and vibration-free operation.

“Azipod propulsion is now a well-proven, sustainable and efficient solution for ferries,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “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.”