Propulsion pod pioneers ABB have won an order worth around US$25-million to supply its marine propulsion system, Azipod, and complete electric power plants for two new rescue and salvage icebreakers that are under construction at Nordic Yards GmbH in Germany.
Azipod Propelled Russian Icebreaker: Image courtesy of ABB
The original idea for the Azipod (Azimuthing Podded Drive) system was conceived a couple of decades ago in response to the Finnish Maritime Administration’s quest for ways to improve its icebreaker operations. Icebreakers must be capable of manoeuvring in such a way that they can break out of an ice channel in any direction in order to assist merchant ships using that channel. Investigations showed that a propulsion motor which could direct the thrust in any direction would be the ideal solution to this problem. The Azipod drive system that was subsequently developed provided the answer with its podded electric propulsion unit, freely steerable through 360 degr... [More]