TWO new 21,500dwt self-unloading transshipment bulkers have been completed by China’s Chengxi Shipyard for Oldendorff Carriers. Each of the vessels has two 1.9-MW Azipod® units installed, as part of a package of electric, digital and connected solutions from ABB.

The scope of supply also included diesel-electric power plant, drive systems complete with two bow thruster motors, power management systems for propulsion and cargo handling, as well as a 50/60-Hz connectors to draw on zero emission shore power when in port.

Joern Westfehling, newbuilding manager, Oldendorff Carriers said, “Collaborating with ABB has been a very positive experience.

“We look forward to reaping the operational rewards of Azipod propulsion, such as enhanced vessel efficiency and increased maneuverability.”

Jiafa Jiang, vice general manager of Chenxi Shipyard said, “This was Chengxi Shipyard’s first time installing Azipod technology, and the process went remarkably smoothly”.

Compared to a conventional propulsion system, ABB Azipod propulsion greatly reduced the construction complexity for the yard.

“ABB worked seamlessly with Chenxi Shipyard to ensure successful delivery of this world’s first self-unloading transshipment vessel,”Mr Jiang said.

Controlling a fleet of around 700 ships, about 95% of Oldendorff’s owned fleet is comprised of ‘eco’ newbuilds delivered since 2014, which are specifically designed for low fuel consumption and reduced carbon footprint. And since its forthcoming vessels will be tasked with transferring cargo from oceangoing ships in deep water for delivery to a port with restricted draft and space, maneuverability is also a vital consideration.

Because the electric drive motor is housed within a submerged pod outside the ship’s hull, the Azipod unit is capable of 360-degree rotation, improving maneuverability and operational efficiency. This also frees up cargo space onboard, potentially boosting vessel profitability further.