Chengxi Shipyard in China has delivered the first of twin self-unloading transhipment newbuilds to German shipowner Oldendorff Carriers after the successful installation and commissioning of ABB Azipod propulsion.

As part of a package of electric, digital, and connected solutions from ABB, the 21,500 dwt transhipment bulkers have been installed with two 1.9MW Azipod units.

ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion helps to reduce fuel consumption onboard.

The package included the installation of a diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, and power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling.

Furthermore, the supply included 50/60-Hz connectors for using zero-emission shore power at the port.

Oldendorff Carriers newbuilding manager Joern Westfehling said: “Collaborating with ABB has been a very positive experience. We look forward to reaping the operational rewards of Azipod propulsion such as enhanced vessel efficiency and increased manoeuvrability.”

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Chenxi Shipyard vice-general manager Jiafa Jiang said: “This was Chengxi Shipyard’s first time installing Azipod technology, and the process went remarkably smoothly. Compared to a conventional propulsion system, ABB Azipod propulsion has greatly reduced the construction complexity for the yard, thanks to its simple design and ease of installation.

“ABB worked seamlessly with Chenxi Shipyard to ensure successful delivery of this world’s first self-unloading transhipment vessel. I would like to devote my appreciation to the ABB project and commissioning team for their professional working spirit.”

Oldendorff manages a fleet of nearly 700 vessels and has approximately 95% of its owned fleet to be ‘eco’ newbuilds delivered since 2014.

All vessels have been built specifically for manoeuvrability, reduced carbon footprint, and low fuel consumption.

ABB Marine and Ports division president Juha Koskela said: “We are delighted that the first bulk carriers to feature Azipod propulsion have been successfully delivered. The project fully demonstrates that Azipod is the go-to solution for environmentally conscious operators of all ship types.

“Because the electric drive motor is housed within a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod unit is capable of 360° rotation, improving manoeuvrability and operational efficiency. This also frees up cargo space onboard, potentially boosting vessel profitability further.”

In November last year, ABB secured a $150m order from Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the supply of comprehensive power and propulsion technologies for five next-generation cruise ships.

ABB has delivered Azipod units for 25 vessel types over the course of three decades.