ABB Orders Unique Subsea Cable Laying Vessel



ABB  is a leading power automation technology group with offices in 100 countries around the world.  Their core expertise enables utility, industry, transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact.  The ABB Group employs about 140,000 people.

ABB is a global leader in the arena of high voltage cable systems and its varied applications include integration of renewables, city center in-feeds, oil and gas platform power supplies and subsea interconnections.  ABB has commissioned more than 25 high-voltage direct current links and hundreds of high-voltage alternating current links around the world.

The ABB group based in Zurich, Switzerland recently ordered the most advanced cable laying vessel to enhance their submarine cable operations.  The vessel is to be constructed at Kleven Shipyard, Norway and will be tailor made to suit ABB’s special needs.  Delivery is expected in 2017.

The President of ABB’s Power Systems division, Claudio Facchin ,is quoted to have said, ” This next-generation vessel incorporating state-of-the-art ABB technologies will be a key differentiator for our high-voltage cable business, enhancing flexibility and execution ability.  It will also improve operational efficiency and customer focus, supporting profitable growth in line with our Next Level strategy.”

What is special about this vessel:

ABB will deploy many of its own leading marine technologies in the new vessel, such as

Onboard DC Grid and power distribution solution which will enable the use of a single DC circuit for ship propulsion thereby help reduce power consumption.

The vessel is to be equipped with roll-reduction tanks.  Remote controlled vehicles installed with cameras and sonars will help monitor subsea operations.  This will be more reliable, safe and help avoid human intervention or divers.

The vessel is to be fitted with ABB Integrated Automation System and three Azipod propulsion units. An energy storage system is integrated, reducing the fuel consumption up to 27 % when compared to AC systems.

Installation of advanced advisory software for motion monitoring, forecast, and decision support will help vessel control on board. External sensors and surveillance hardware/  software can provide valuable data that will transmit information via a satellite link. This technology would prove to be a boon to allow the onshore technical support centers to work closely with the vessel.

ABB plans to install the DP3 ( dynamic positioning) system to keep perfect direction and position at all times.  The vessel is to be made fire and flood proof as well with the latest built-in systems.

About ABB:

The company recently bagged a $90 million order from Statoil, for laying a high-voltage cable system to supply power from shore to the Johan Sverdrup offshore oil field.  This would be a 200km, 80-kilovolt (kV) extruded direct current (DC) cable system.  Considered to be one of the longest extruded submarine cable system to an offshore oil and gas platform facility in the world.

Supplying electric power from shore for offshore oil and gas rigs is a reliable and efficient mode of transmission of large amounts of electricity over long distances.  This also negates the need to burn gas at sea to power the unit.  This also results in substantial reductions in CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions.

Source: ABB Group