Hybrid ferry launched to service Finland and Sweden

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Wasaline’s latest ferry, Aurora Botnia, has been equipped with supplier ABB’s Azipod propulsion system, with two of the pod-mounted units, each rated at 5.8MW, employed. The company says the system will, in addition to helping reduce emissions, also achieve up to four days of annual time savings due to increased operational efficiency.

The ferry, launched by the Finnish shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions, will be operated by Wasaline on the world’s northernmost all-year passenger route between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. Entering service in 2021, Aurora Botnia will have the capacity to transport 800 passengers and up to 1,500 lane-meters of trucks and cars, completing two round trips per day in high season.

According to Peter Ståhlberg, Wasaline CEO, “We chose ABB’s Azipod electric propulsion for several reasons. Superior maneuverability will save time and increase productivity, enabling precise schedules to be maintained on this route. We calculated likely annual time savings of close to four days of operation, which was compelling. The solution also saves valuable space on board and simplifies hull construction. Access to ABB’s training and support services in Finland were other major plus points.”

According to ABB, the electric propulsion system was delivered to the shipyard fully engineered and ready for immediate installation. Johanna Kaijo, Rauma Marine Constructions’ project manager in charge of the project, noted ease of installation as being highly beneficial: “We were able to install the units in just one week. For us as a shipbuilder, this translates into significant project flexibility by helping to optimize time and resources. Having fully engineered units has notably improved the completion of the vessel construction – the installation was literally about plugging the ready-made units into the vessel hull.”

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