ABB Opens New Global Manufacturing Base in Shanghai
Azipod improves vessels’ fuel efficiency up to 25%, lowers their environmental impact and provides better maneuvering capabilities .ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, yesterday inaugurated a new global manufacturing base in Shanghai featuring Azipod C, the company’s advanced green marine propulsion system. Located in the Lingang New Development Zone, the new base covers 37,000 square meters with an annual output of 60 units at present.
Claudio Facchin, Chairman and President of ABB North Asia and China, spoke at the inauguration ceremony. “Today’s launch in Shanghai supports ABB’s ‘in China for China and the world’ strategy and the city’s goal to turn Shanghai into a global center of the world’s shipping industry. With this latest move, our total investment in Shanghai amounts to $50 million this year. ABB will continue to introduce new technologies, global resources and operational expertise to China and Shanghai with global-unified quality standards.”
Azipod (Azimuthing electric podded thruster) unit is an electrically driven propeller mounted on a pod, which rotates 360° around its vertical axis and delivers thrust in any direction for unprecedented maneuverability. Introduced in 2000, Azipod C is the smallest member of the Azipod family, with compact size that covers the power range up to 4.5 MW, from where the larger size Azipod starts. Azipod C complements ABB’s solutions on a wide range of vessel types, such as work boats, drilling vessels, yachts & ferries, providing remarkable fuel efficiency, better maneuverability, reduced environmental emissions, high reliability and short installation and commissioning time.
In China, Azipod C has been installed in a variety of vessels, including the ferry line between Yantai-Dalian, delivering 20-30% lower fuel consumption, and in China’s first independently designed 3000-ton comprehensive marine surveillance vessel.
“China is now one of the world’s major shipbuilding countries. The new base will bring us closer to the key shipbuilding markets and enable us to better serve the fast-growing market for high-end vessels as more Chinese shipyards shift their focus in this direction,” said Heikki Soljama, global head of ABB’s marine and cranes business unit, “We will continue to apply advanced technology and quality management standards in manufacturing to meet the expectations of our customers in China and around the world.”
“Moreover, while the large size Azipod units remain to be delivered from Finland, the new base is the first one specifically dedicated to Azipod C manufacturing. The new facility will play a key role in serving global customers in line with ABB’s business strategy in China,” added Soljama.
As the leading manufacturer of electric power and propulsion systems, ABB’s marine business provides about 50% of the electric propulsion power in vessels worldwide and about 80% of electric podded propulsion systems. To date, 100 vessels have been equipped with Azipod propulsion; and more than 240 Azipod units have been delivered or are on order, accumulating about seven million reliable operating hours in demanding marine applications such as icebreakers, luxury cruise ships, research vessels, offshore supply vessels, drilling rigs, ferries and mega yachts.
ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.
Source: shippingonline, August 19, 2011; Image:ABB