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ABB outlines electric, digital and connected vision for next generation ships

ABB outlines electric, digital and connected vision for next generation ships

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Swiss tech giant ABB has outlined how it sees the ships of tomorrow operating – with electric, digital and connected very much to the fore.

“We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the maritime industry,” claimed Juha Koskela, managing director, ABB Marine & Ports, in a release yesterday. “We believe the next generation of ships will be electric, digital and connected as the industry moves towards the use of new energy sources and automated ship operations.”

Ships featuring pure electric power and propulsion are simpler in terms of layout, ABB reckons, compared to those running on combustion engines alone, and less exposed to wear and tear. The automotive industry’s wider adoption of hybrid electric systems and autonomous control can be mirrored by the industry, ABB believes.

“Based on greater efficiency and sustainability, electric propulsion will become a maritime imperative rather than an alternative,” the company stated, suggesting batteries and fuel cells will become common onboard.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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