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Heavy Lift Vessels and Heavy Cargo Vessels

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ABB offers a wide range of solutions for different heavy lift vessels and heavy cargo vessels such as semi-submersible ships, crane ships and heavy deck cargo ships.

The electric propulsion is a feasible solution for semi-subs and heavy lift vessels. ABB´s electric propulsion solutions can help with dynamic positioning and redundancy and offer flexibility with machinery location, space and weight restrictions. ABB solutions include electric power plant alternatives for both traditional AC and new Onboard DC Grid systems. Solutions are suitable for different propeller and thruster alternatives such as Azipod® propulsion, shaft line propulsion and mechanical thrusters.

Our OCTOPUS software can be called an industry standard on the heavy cargo ships. System enables prediction and optimisation to ensure best possible operation of the vessel.

Onboard DC Grid

The Onboard DC Grid is a step forward in optimized propulsion and is an extension of multiple DC links that already exist in propulsion and thruster drives. Onboard DC Grid enables us to combine the advantage of AC components with a new smart DC distribution. Just as variable speed drive allows the electric propulsion motors to be run at their optimum working point, Onboard DC Grid allows the diesel engines to run at variable speed for top fuel efficiency at each load level. And, the Onboard DC Grid enables full flexibility in combining energy sources, including renewables.


The OCTOPUS software can be called an industry standard on the heavy cargo ships. System enables prediction and optimization to ensure best possible operation of the vessel. OCTOPUS has many new features to predict and improve the energy production and consumption on the vessel.

When using OCTOPUS onboard a vessel, the operating crew has access to a state of the art decision support toolbox that optimizes safe and efficient voyage execution. OCTOPUS assists ship officers and engineers in making real time decisions enabling them to be proactive in safety and efficiency actions, resulting in more immediate benefits than just traditional post voyage analysis.

ABB´s Azipod® propulsion - saving space, increasing efficiency

For a heavy cargo ship design, the space saving is an important advantage compared to most other vessel types. Eliminating onboard propulsion motors and shaftlines enables more rigid aft-ship hull structure and frees more space for ballast water tanks.

The advantages of Azipod® thrusters
- High efficiency throughout the power range
- Thrust available in any direction
- Less moving parts
- Low maintenance need
- Space saving due to absence of onboard propulsion motor and shafting

Solutions for newbuildings

Publications and multimedia


References for the heavy cargo vessels
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