ABB, a power and automation technology group, has won orders worth $30m for electric propulsion, power generation and power distribution systems that maximize the fuel efficiency of offshore supply vessels to be built in China.
ABB will provide an integrated electric propulsion solution for each of the vessels. The equipment, including generators, switchgear, transformers, drives and motors, will be delivered to the Fujian Mawei Shipyard on the southeast coast in 2010 and 2011. Offshore supply vessels deliver supplies, ranging from drill pipe to drinking water, to drilling rigs and platforms at sea.
Electric propulsion systems equipped with variable speed drives consume significantly less compared with their conventional diesel-mechanical counterparts, and their exhaust emissions are significantly lower. They also allow more flexible use of space on board.
The variable speed drives allow the speed of the ship’s propeller and associated machinery to be controlled precisely. This means that the equipment is subject to less stress, and maintenance costs are lower. The electric motors themselves are highly reliable and virtually maintenance-free.