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ABB to power Southeast Asia’s first LNG tugboat

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ABB will provide the automation, power, storage and electric propulsion technology for the first LNG-powered tugboat in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, the Swiss technology company said the tugboat, ordered by Sembcorp Marine, will be delivered by the end of 2020 and used in the Port of Singapore.

ABB said the news represents the first delivery of its award-winning power and distribution system Onboard DC Grid for a tug application. Leveraging Onboard DC Grid.

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The vessel will be able to deploy 904 kWh of battery power for zero-emission operation, as well as for peak shaving – improving utilization of electricity use on board.

Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports, described it as a “breakthrough in the tug market for the ABB’s energy storage technologies and a strong validation of Onboard DC Grid”.

“Future-proofing for a different energy mix makes particular sense for tugs and other port service vessels, as the most likely candidates to face imminent environmental restriction.

“This is also a great example of a local team meeting a regional priority by realizing ABB’s ‘Electric. Digital. Connected.’ vision,” Koskela explained.

Gas fueled engines face a particular challenge when it comes to handling the fast-changing load capabilities demanded by tugs. Leveraging the Onboard DC Grid system, the tug’s engines will be able to run at variable speeds for optimized LNG fuel economy at each load level.

Additionally, through integration with an energy storage source, the batteries will be able to provide power to the tug’s propulsion system almost instantaneously.

Leveraging the capabilities of Onboard DC Grid, the LNG engines will not have the need to be tied to a fixed speed against dynamic loads, and would be able to provide energy at variable revolutions per minute (RPM), further enhancing efficiency, responsiveness and sustainability of tug operations.

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