Technology group ABB has secured a contract to provide its automation system for Viking Line’s new cruise ship being built at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry in China.

The contract represents the first marine automation deal won by ABB in China and will involve the supply of the company’s Ability System 800xA solution.

The ABB Ability System 800xA is designed to combine power, propulsion and vessel management systems into a single platform to allow the vessel’s crew and onshore teams to receive comprehensive data of all the information required to operate the vessel safely.

It is expected to enhance project management, as well as enable vessel efficiency and digitalisation.

The system will be provided in addition to ABB’s technology package selected for the Viking Line vessel.

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

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“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.”

“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.”

ABB’s Ability platform is a unified, cross-industry offering that employs Microsoft Azure as the cloud for its integrated connectivity.

It allows the users to have access to enterprise-grade infrastructure.

Viking Line president and CEO Jan Hanses 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.”

Viking Line’s new cruise ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The 63,000t ferry will be designed to carry 2,800 passengers and is set to be deployed to serve the route that connects the Finnish port of Turku, Åland Islands, and Stockholm, Sweden, in 2020.