Virgin Voyages has reportedly selected ABB Azipods to drive a trio of cruise ship newbuilds currently being built in Italy at Fincantieri's shipyard in Genoa. The 110,000 gt vessels, each measure 278 x 38 m and accomodating 2700 passengers and 1,150 crew, with the first due for delivery in 2020, the last in 2021.
ABB is tasked to supply the complete electric power and propulsion package for the Virgin Voyages’ new fleet.
Each oship will feature ABB’s Azipod propulsion, a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull. Azipod propulsion has become an industry standard in the cruise segment, with the proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 15 percent compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems.
“Making Virgin Voyages environmentally sustainable is central to our vision and we are delighted ABB’s Azipod propulsion will help us achieve that goal. Combined with excellent maneuverability, it was a natural choice for our ships,” said Stuart Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Marine and Technical Operations for Virgin Voyages.
Two Azipod XO units, with a combined propulsion power of 32 MW (43,000 HP) will propel each of the three ships. In addition to highest energy efficiency
, Azipod XO units, where “X” stands for “next generation” and “O” for open water operation, provide high maneuverability and minimal noise for increased passenger comfort.
Each vessel will feature ABB’s complete electric power plant concept – a solution encompassing electricity generators
, main switchboards, distribution transformers and a remote control system for maneuvering the Azipod® units from the bridge. The combination of Azipod® propulsion and ABB’s electric power plant concept makes it possible to configure all of the equipment for optimized performance, resulting in increased efficiency and lower emissions.
The four-stroke engines powering the electricity generators – four per vessel – will be equipped with ABB’s TPL-C turbochargers, designed to handle demanding operations and consistently chosen for large cruise ships for their reliability and efficiency.