Kongsberg Maritime to retrofit electric thrusters to Solstad vessel

Solstad Normand Sentinel has been in service for 10 years Solstad Normand Sentinel has been in service for 10 years (Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime is to carry out ‘a significant upgrade’ to Solstad’s Normand Sentinel, one of the company’s subsea construction vessels.

The upgrade covers installation of Kongsberg Maritime’s RD-AZ2600 electric rim-drive azimuth thrusters. These are anticipated to deliver energy savings of up to 16% during transit operations and up to 40% in dynamic positioning mode.

The Normand Sentinel, which has an overall length of 143 metres, is expected to receive the upgrade over its next scheduled dry dock inspection. The new RD-AZ2600 will replace the current AZP 120 CP mechanical thrusters. The new thrusters are expected to add years of service to the vessel.

“This strategic move supports the green shift by significantly reducing fuel consumption. Additionally, the technology improves the vessel’s operability and capacity, while reducing the maintenance scope. This aligns with Solstad’s continuous commitment to reduce emissions,” said Tor Johan Tveit, COO at Solstad.

James Poulton, SVP Aftermarket Sales at Kongsberg Marine, said: “Solstad’s investment in this ten-year old vessel is a bold statement of their commitment to providing energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly maritime solutions. The anticipated energy savings, particularly in DP mode, will ensure the vessel remains a preferred choice in the market.”

The new thrusters are further expected to reduce maintenance costs – and also the total cost of ownership – for Solstad. The rim-drive tech is said simplify the propulsion system by minimising the total number of mechanical components. This in turn reduces the frequency and complexity of any mechanical checks and repairs.

Retrofitting of the new thrusters is expected to require no significant modifications to the hull, while the dry docking time will remain the same. The rim-drive thrusters will integrate with the existing steering gear.

In November 2023, Kongsberg Maritime and Solstad signed a collaboration agreement focused on decarbonisation initiatives. This will further explore the integration of new digital technologies to improve operational efficiency.


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