Electric propulsion for Wasaline's new ice-class ferry

Wasaline’s new ferry, Aurora Botnia, was floated out at Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) shipyard on 11 September. The vessel will operate on the world’s northernmost all-year passenger route between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden when it enters service in 2021.

The 150-metre 1,500 lane metre vessel is equipped with a pair of 5.8MW 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.”

The Azipod electric propulsion system was delivered to the shipyard ready for immediate installation. It was installed on the newbuild ferry by the yard while supervised by the local ABB Marine & Ports commissioning team in one week, according to schedule, and successfully gained acceptance by yard, owner, and classification society.

The new vessel will be powered by four dual-fuel LNG engines and will also feature an energy storage solution. Designed to meet Polar Code 6 criteria, the vessel’s pair of 5.8MW Azipod units where the electric drive motor in a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, can rotate through 360 degrees thereby increasing manoeuvrability. In addition to its proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to traditional propulsion, Azipod technology also improves the onboard experience for passengers and crew through its quiet-running and vibration-free operation.

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