ABB invests in advanced cable-laying vessel for subsea installation


ABB has ordered the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessel to boost the capacity of its submarine cable operations.

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has ordered the world’s most advanced cable-laying vessel to boost the capacity of its submarine cable operations while achieving greater efficiency and precision. The new ship will be custom-built to ABB specifications and measure approximately 140 by 30 meters, will be constructed at Kleven shipyard in Norway. Delivery is expected in 2017.

“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,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Systems division. “It will also improve operational efficiency and customer focus, supporting profitable growth in line with our Next Level strategy.”

The new ship will deploy many of ABB’s own leading marine technologies. The award-winning Onboard DC Grid and power distribution solution, for instance, will use a single DC circuit for ship propulsion to reduce power consumption. The vessel will set new standards for reliability and accuracy and will be equipped with roll-reduction tanks and the subsea operations will be executed and monitored by a remotely operated vehicle using cameras and sonar, avoiding the need for divers.

Loading of high-voltage cableThe vessel will also feature a complete ABB Integrated Automation System and three Azipod propulsion units. Together with an energy storage system for marine applications it will cut fuel consumption by 27 percent and reduce maintenance compared to traditional AC systems. Sensors, monitoring hardware and software will enable data to be sent to shore via a satellite link, to allow the onshore technical support centers to work closely with the ship as part of ABB’s Integrated Marine Operations solution. Advanced advisory software for motion monitoring, forecasting and decision support will also be on board.

Thanks to dynamic positioning technology of the highest class (DP3), the ship will be able to maintain its position with a high precision. The vessel is constructed in such a way that fire and flooding can be contained and will not compromise positioning and other essential systems.

Cable links play a key role in the reliable and efficient transmission of large amounts of electricity, often over long distances. With experience dating back to 1883, ABB is a global leader in high-voltage cable systems with an installed base across applications such as 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.  

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