[ABB] – Contract to supply power, propulsion and digital solutions for Genting Hong Kong’s six ‘Universal Class’ vessels that will bring global hotel brands to sea
The new vessels will be designed to the highest safety and environmental standards and will be powered by ABB’s Azipod® electric propulsion, which has become the cruise industry standard since its launch in 1990.
Each of the 286-meter vessels will be propelled by twin Azipod® units, with a combined power of 30 MW (40,230 HP) and will run on low-emission liquified natural gas. The vessels will be built by the Genting owned shipbuilding company MV Werften with sites in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund in Germany. The vessels are due for delivery in 2023-2024.
The six vessels will bring luxury cruising experiences to its guests and feature high-end amenities, as well as having a passenger capacity of 1,000 to 4,000 passengers depending on the Luxury, Premium or Contemporary class. Each cruise ship will have a total of 15 decks. Genting will operate these vessels for global hotel brands that want to enter the marine industry but are facing constraints related to most shipbuilding slots being occupied at present.
The vessels will have the capability to be connected to ABB Ability’ Collaborative Operations Center infrastructure, which monitors the performance of ABB technology on board and remotely connects operators with ABB experts.
“These vessels represent the next generation of cruising, with their high flexibility, sustainable profile and highest safety and efficiency standards. ABB’s Azipod® electric propulsion, known for its unparalleled performance, environmental credentials and reliability, has been a natural choice for these vessels,” said Gustaf Gronberg, Executive Vice President, Marine Operations & Newbuilding, Genting Hong Kong.
“With these vessels, we enter a new era of sustainable cruising, and we are pleased to collaborate with ABB, who through the years have proven to be a reliable solution provider, enabling us to deploy advanced technology that defines the future of cruising,” said Peter Fetten, President and CEO of MV Werften.
“Sustainable technologies are at the heart of what we do at ABB, and we are truly honored to continue our long-standing relationship with MV Werften and Genting and have our technology chosen for these ships that seek to redefine modern-day cruising,” said Peter Terwiesch, President of the Industrial Automation business at ABB, which offers solutions for a wide range of industries, including marine.
Cruise travelling is becoming more popular for holidaymakers and according to industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), 30 million passengers are expected to cruise the seas in 2019 – a 6% increase year-on-year. In addition to rising numbers of cruisers, CLIA reports that travelers are becoming more mindful than ever, expecting sustainable technology on board vessels.
“Azipod® propulsion has become an industry benchmark for environmentally-friendly cruise technology, with its proven ability to cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to traditional shaftline propulsion systems,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports. “Fuel savings of over 900,000 tons have been made in the cruise segment alone due to the selection of Azipod® propulsion.”
The Azipod® propulsion system, where the electric drive motor is in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, can rotate 360 degrees to increase maneuverability and operating efficiency. Due to minimal noise and vibration, Azipod® propulsion also improves passenger and crew comfort.
Genting Hong Kong bought three shipyards in Germany in 2016, collectively known as “MV Werften”, to build cruise ships up to 200,000 gross tons for its three cruise brands, following the purchase of Lloyd Werft the previous year, which specializes in building Mega yachts and other newbuilds.