ABB Azipods Ordered for New Russian Icebreakers

abb azipod icebreaking supply vessel
Image: ABB

Russia’s State Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (SMRCC) has two new rescue and salvage icebreakers under construction at Nordic Yards GmbH in Germany. Powering the ships through ice up to one meter thick will be a pair of 3.5 megawatt ABB “Azipods.”

ABB describes this propulsion system as:

“A podded electric propulsion unit where the variable speed electric motor driving the fixed pitch propeller is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, and the pod can be rotated around its vertical axis to give the propulsion thrust freely to any direction. Thus the ship does not need rudders, stern transversal thrusters or long shaft lines inside the ship hull.”

ABB recently won the $25 million order to supply the marine propulsion system, the Azipods, and the complete electrical power plant to these ships which will be used for patrols and rescue operations near Russia’s high-latitude offshore oil-and-gas fields.

ABB’s Azipod controls enable the ship’s helmsman to control the direction and throttle of the ship engines with a high degree of accuracy with only one hand as the following video shows.