PAO Sovcomflot, Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. (ABB) Company and the Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University (MSU) have signed an agreement for research, technological and educational partnership. The document provides for the establishment of the Marine Propulsion Simulation Centre at MSU in Vladivostok. The operations of this centre which will be focused on preparing staff for work on vessels equipped with Azipod propulsion units.
The agreement was signed by Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot, Sergey Ogay, Rector of MSU, and Anatoly Popov, Managing Director of ABB in Russia.
As part of this agreement, ABB will provide MSU with the equipment designed to simulate the operation of Azipod vessel electric power and propulsion units and provide further assistance with its installation, along with software. ABB will also assign engineers and instructors to operate the simulator.
Thanks to its experience in operating vessels equipped with Azipod propulsion units, as well as needing to meet its existing and future needs for training navigational officers, Sovcomflot will help prepare simulator specifications and develop appropriate programmes with an emphasis on the operation of vessels in the Arctic and sub-Arctic marine basins.
It is expected that the new simulation centre will be used to train MSU students, as well as to retrain and provide advanced training to commissioned officers of shipping companies’ fleets. It will also conduct research, scientific and experimental activities in the area of vessel power supply automation and electric propulsion processes.
With its motor located in the submersible nacelle outside the hull, Azipod propulsion units are based on a unique technology that enables a significant improvement on energy efficiency and manoeuvrability of vessels, which is crucial under complicated ice conditions. The SCF Group, which operates the world’s largest fleet of Azipod-equipped high ice class vessels, has substantial experience in their operation under the difficult ice conditions of the Barents Sea, the Pechora Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk.
Sergey Frank, President and CEO of Sovcomflot, commented: “With the intensity of navigation in the Arctic and sub-Arctic Seas of the Russian Far East increasing from year to year, shipping companies now have a strong incentive to use the latest global shipbuilding technologies, as well as to develop human resources and scientific potential. In fact, the expansion of operations of offshore energy projects and the growing demand for navigation on the Northern Sea Route go hand in hand with the adoption of adequate measures for the energy shipping aimed at the unconditional adherence to high standards of maritime safety, environmental protection, and energy efficiency of maritime transportation.”
“ABB’s technology and developments in the area of electric propulsion have a good record in operation on Sovcomflot vessels in the Arctic and Russian Far East marine basins, and we are pleased that ABB has partnered with Sovcomflot and MSU, whose Department of Propulsion is historically considered one of the best of its kind within the Russian system of maritime education, to create this unique simulation centre,” said Sergey Frank.
“As we see it, the new centre will serve as an educational platform, where not only will students be instructed, but also commissioned skippers will build up their competences. The implementation of the Centre project will make a tremendous contribution to the development of a large-scale scientific and educational cluster in the area of maritime professions in the Russian Far East, to the development of which Sovcomflot and MSU have consistently dedicated so much work.”
Sergey Ogay, Rector of MSU, said:
“Electromechanics is routinely considered one of the most advanced educational and scientific areas of the University. Since the electromechanical department was established there back in 1961, it has established an entire scientific school represented by eminent scientists and professors that continues an active research and educational work. Today this area is represented by a number of specializations, ranging from vessel motors to systems engineering. I believe that it represents a great potential for the development of cooperation with such companies as Sovcomflot and ABB.”
“The signing of the trilateral agreement between ABB, Sovcomflot and MSU is a truly historic event. It marks a new stage in the development of the University ushered in by technological changes in the fleet associated with the partnership between Sovcomflot and ABB, leaders in their respective segments. We are grateful to Sovcomflot for active participation in the development of joint educational projects in recent years. We also express our gratitude to ABB, a world leader in marine propulsion, for its response to our offer. I hope that, in the near future, our joint work will come to fruition through effective educational programs.”
Anatoliy Popov, Managing Director of ABB in Russia, said: “Whether it is ice-going LNG tankers for the Yamal project or port icebreakers, ABB’s power systems and Azipod thrusters are powering the new generation of vessels operating in the Arctic region. This collaboration will ensure the operators will realize the full potential of their vessels and, most importantly, increase safety.”