ABB launches software to reduce fuel consumption

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Several new software applications that promise to help all types of vessels dramatically reduce their fuel consumption have been launched by power and automation technology group ABB.

These Advisory Systems include the latest versions of ABB’s energy management system for marine applications (EMMA) and Amarcon’s Octopus solution.

With the recent acquisition of Amarcon, and the official launch of Advisory Systems during Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology International Trade (SMM) in Hamburg earlier this month, ABB says it is now able to provide a vertically integrated power and automation set of solutions that will help ship-owners increase productivity and safety of vessel operation while minimising fuel consumption and environmental impacts.

For the first time in history, the daily operational costs of a vessel have surpassed its daily building costs. Fuel consumption is becoming the highest operational expenditure for each and every vessel of the global fleet, and one of the biggest environmental concerns.

ABB said fuel accounts for between 30 and 40% of the cost of running a cruise ship and between 50 and 60% for most merchant vessels. Reducing fuel consumption by just 1% can mean an annual saving of $50,000 for a mid-sized bulk carrier and $300,000 a year for a large container ship. In a world where fuel savings have become a requirement for ship operators, a vessel with an integrated power, automation and advisory system that can help slash its fuel consumption by up to 20% represents a substantial competitive advantage.

ABB’s new ship advisory and automation systems suite incorporates a full range of vessel information and control technology that allows ship operators to monitor and calculate the optimum utilisation of power onboard. The recent acquisition of Amarcon in the second quarter this year complements this portfolio and strengthens ABB’s long-term growth strategy.

“By aggregating Amarcon systems into ABB’s solutions, we are now able to provide the widest portfolio of optimization tools available on the market,” said Heikki Soljama, Head of business unit Marine and Cranes.

“With these solutions, we are better equipped to help ship operators reduce fuel consumption efficiently and provide added-value technology to all ship owners.

Earlier this year, ABB won an order to provide an energy management system for one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries, which is due to be delivered to Viking Line in 2013 . ABB also won an order from Rickmers Group in Germany to supply advisory systems for dynamic trim optimisation and fleet management solutions for five multi-purpose vessels.

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