Shipping is key to the global economy, with over 80 percent of world merchandise trade carried by sea, and this year’s World Maritime Day on September 29 highlights the importance of accelerating the transition of the maritime sector to a more sustainable future. This important day is spearheaded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency responsible for regulating shipping.
This year’s theme, ‘New technologies for greener shipping’, is linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 13 and 14 on climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources; SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure; and SDG 17, which highlights the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals. ABB has also targeted these SDGs, among others, and with its 2030 sustainability strategy, the company is actively enabling a low-carbon society as well as working with customers and suppliers to implement sustainable practices across value chains and the lifecycle of products and solutions.
New technologies to increase energy efficiency of ships, as well as the uptake of alternative fuels and systems to produce such fuels – especially those than can harness renewable energy – are key for decarbonizing the shipping industry. Innovative solutions utilizing digital technologies and artificial intelligence are no less important and help shipping companies make better decisions to improve operational efficiencies and cut emissions as a result.
ABB offers tailor-made solutions, which include electrical propulsion, data-driven decision support and integrated systems for ship and shore. With these, ABB is paving the way to a zero-emission marine industry, providing greater efficiency and reliability to shipowners, and preparing vessels to meet the demands of tomorrow.
For some 30 years now the Azipod® electric propulsion, a gearless steerable propulsion system where the electric drive motor is housed within a pod outside the ship hull, has brought higher performance for all kinds of ships. Azipod® units can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability and operating efficiency of a vessel, while cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to conventional shaft line systems. Azipod® propulsion is available in power ranges from 1MW to 22MW, making it suitable for smaller crafts, ferries, cruise ships, cargo carriers and icebreakers capable of independently operating in the harshest conditions. Today, over 25 vessel types rely on the Azipod® technology.