ABB wins Azipod® propulsion and integrated systems order for Van Oord offshore wind installation Jack Up Vessel (JUV)

  • Van Oord’s newbuild offshore wind installation vessel Boreas will benefit from space and weight savings enabled by ABB’s equipment allowing the vessel to transport heavier loads
  • Four Azipod® propulsors will form key part of an integrated ABB solution package comprising advanced power, automation and control systems as well as ABB Ability™ digital solutions
  • The ABB package will enhance maneuverability, safety, vessel availability and performance, as well as reduce fuel consumption, maintenance costs and emissions
Van Oord offshore wind installation Jack Up vessel. Image credit Van Oord
Van Oord offshore wind installation Jack Up vessel. Image credit Van Oord

ABB has secured a contract with Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard in China to supply an integrated power, automation and propulsion system for a newbuild JUV Boreas. The vessel, which is anticipated to be one of the most technologically advanced on the market, is due for delivery to the owner, Dutch marine contractor Van Oord, in the second part of 2024.

As a major player in the global offshore wind market, Van Oord has contributed to the installation of wind turbines with a combined renewable energy capacity of 14.5 gigawatts since 2002, representing 40 percent of the installed capacity worldwide at the end of 2020. Its forthcoming vessel, Boreas, will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced hybridized JUVs in operation, measuring 175 meters in length. It will be able to lift over 3,000 tons and will feature 126-meter-tall legs allowing it to operate at depths of up to 70 meters jacked up, with a capacity to install up to 20 megawatt (MW) offshore wind turbines.

“Projects involving dynamically positioned vessels, especially JUVs, call for a systems supplier with specialist experience and expertise as well as a proven portfolio of integrated power and propulsion solutions,” said Harold Linssen, Project Director, Van Oord. “Having collaborated with ABB in the past, we know that not only does ABB meet all of these requirements; they also offer global support during the project and throughout the lifecycle of the vessel. We are looking forward to collaborating with ABB on this project to shape the future of offshore wind farm installation.”

“ABB is our long-term parter and I believe we can enhance the business relationship with ABB by working together for VAN Oord Jack Up Vessel” said Shiyan Sun, Director, Supply Chain Management Centre, Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard. “The ease of installing the Azipod® system was another key factor in our decision to contract ABB; it is a matter of plugging the ready-made units into the vessel hull, saving considerable time and effort in the construction process.”

Boreas will be equipped with four Azipod® propulsion units with a combined propulsion power of 16 megawatts, offering significant space and weight savings as well as facilitating optimal ship design, allowing the vessel to transport heavier loads. In addition, ABB’s hybrid-electric propulsion system is fully future-proof as it allows integration of new energy sources once they become available.

ABB’s comprehensive package includes a closed-ring configuration for safer, more efficient and more predictable operations. Furthermore, through its spinning-reserve and peak-load-shaving capabilities, ABB’s energy storage system will act as a back-up power source while reducing engine running hours to minimize wear and fuel consumption.

Van Oord will also be able to leverage the ABB Ability™ Marine Remote Diagnostic System for the continuous remote equipment monitoring, as well as optimized machinery and planned maintenance activities, helping reduce maintenance costs.

“We are proud to have been chosen to provide power and propulsion for Boreas, based on our experience in the offshore JUV market and our ability to tailor products and solutions to the needs of the owner, operator and shipyard,” said Rune Braastad, Global Business Line Manager, Marine Systems, ABB Marine & Ports. “This project further confirms that our integrated package comprising power, energy storage, automation, control and digital solutions is the preferred choice for vessels that need to be future-proof and environmentally friendly.”

Azipod® propulsion is a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is housed within a pod outside the ship hull. Azipod® units can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability and operating efficiency of vessel, while cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to conventional shaftline systems.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

ABB’s Process Automation business is a leader in automation, electrification and digitalization for the process and hybrid industries. We serve our customers with a broad portfolio of products, systems, and end-to-end solutions, including our # 1 distributed control system, software, and lifecycle services, industry-specific products as well as measurement and analytics, marine and turbocharging offerings. As the global #2 in the market, we build on our deep domain expertise, diverse team and global footprint, and are dedicated to helping our customers increase competitiveness, improve their return on investment and run safe, smart, and sustainable operations.


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