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ABB signs breakthrough contract for marine automation in China

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ABB has announced that it has been awarded its first marine automation system contract for a cruise ferry in China, after the technology package for the Chinese-built Viking Line vessel has been extended to include the ABB Ability™ System 800xA.

According to the statement, the system integrates power, propulsion and vessel management systems into one platform, allowing both crew and onshore teams to obtain a comprehensive overview of all of the information required to operate the vessel in the safest and most efficient manner. Adding marine automation to the technology package will improve project management, as well as result in greater vessel efficiency and digitalisation.

Jan Hanses, the President and CEO of Viking Line, said: “On her delivery, this vessel will be the most efficient cruise ferry operating in the Baltic, if not the world.

“Extending our arrangement with ABB to include the full automation package made perfect sense, given that ABB has the dedicated local automation team and access to global engineering resources that will ensure both responsiveness and delivery of a vessel benefiting from the highest levels of systems integration.”

The 63 000 GT LNG-fuelled cruise ferry is currently under construction at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd, and will be capable of carrying 2800 passengers when it starts services connecting the Finnish port of Turku in Finland, the Åland Islands and Stockholm, Sweden, in 2020.

Alf Kåre Adnanes, head of ABB’s Marine and Ports business in China, said: “Chinese shipbuilding is one of the most significant markets for ABB’s power, propulsion and automation system.

“Chinese shipyards are diversifying their portfolios, and ABB’s long history in the cruise sector is particularly relevant to China’s shipbuilders. We are part of an existing shipping cluster and can support Chinese shipyards in their strategy to build cruise vessels for China and for global customers.”

As well as the ABB electrical power generation, distribution systems and bow thruster motors, ABB claims that the vessel will be the world’s first cruise ferry to feature twin XO 2100-type Azipod® units – the propulsion solution of choice in the cruise ship market.

Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports, said: “As ABB’s first marine automation contract for a cruise ferry in China, this is a breakthrough in a crucial territory where our marine business continues to increase, but it also confirms that our ‘Electric. Digital. Connected’ strategy is gaining traction in a growing number of sectors and markets.

“Integration that is available from the ground up meets today’s requirements and positions ABB to incorporate future technologies in a straightforward way.”

ABB Ability is the company’s unified, cross-industry offering extending from device to edge to cloud, integrating data to and from products, systems, solutions and services to deliver actionable information. The ABB Ability platform uses Microsoft Azure as the cloud for its integrated connectivity, so users can access enterprise-grade infrastructure that benefits from Microsoft’s significant investment.

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