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Global Azimuth Thrusters Market to Grow at a CAGR of 1.5% During the Period 2022-2027, Driven by Need to Maintain Robust and Efficient Shipping Fleets

According to a new report by EMR titled, ‘Global Azimuth Thrusters Market Report and Forecast 2022-2027’, the global azimuth thrusters market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.5% during the period 2022-2027, led by advanced and environmentally friendly solutions.

The global azimuth thrusters market is expected to be driven by the need to maintain robust and efficient shipping fleets, advancements in technology, and need for improved ship manoeuvrability. Novel, environmentally friendly, powerful and efficient propulsion solutions are expected to boost market growth. North America, Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to be key markets.

While several leading companies constantly seek to offer advanced solutions, many shipping firms increasingly look to update their fleets with such solutions. For example, in 2021, it was revealed that Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine was equipped with SCHOTTEL’s azimuthal hybrid drive system SYDRIVE-E for the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) hybrid tug. This was the first in a twelve-vessel series, and Sembcorp Marine sought to build the world’s first hybrid LNG-fuelled tug fleet to replace the company’s existing diesel-powered tugs. Sembcorp Marine’s hybridized SCHOTTEL RudderPropellers type SRP 430 would have a power intake capacity of nearly 2,000 kW each, and would be powered by zero emissions electrical motors and/or low-emissions LNG main engines. The 360-degree steerable SRPs would combine maximum manoeuvrability and a high bollard pull as warranted by harbour operations.  With companies looking to update their fleets with azimuth thrusters, the global azimuth thrusters market is expected to grow during the forecast period.

In 2020, SCHOTTEL introduced new medium-sized azimuth thrusters. The M-series consisted of multiple rudder propeller sizes encompassing a power range of 400 to 1,000 kW. The modular system ensured a good fit for any vessel design. With the M-series, SCHOTTEL sought to meet novel challenges on the international maritime market, like shifted engine power classes, up to date ice class rules, and an increasing number of electric or hybrid-driven vessels.

Based on the well proven and dependable design of the v2, Caterpillar Marine offered the latest generation of azimuth thrusters – the MTA 03. MTA 03 was created to offer customers better fuel efficiency and operation modes for their performance needs. The MTA 03 was built in accordance with Caterpillar’s CPS procedure for maximum quality verification. The MTA 03 line-up covered the entire Cat® 3500 range with the MTA 524, 627 and 628 from a power range of 1500-2525kW. It provided benefits of significant savings in maintenance costs, reduced maintenance and service risks, and simple FiFi installation.

In 2018, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced completion of production of the company’s 1,000th Rexpeller, a type of azimuth thruster for ships. The Kawasaki Rexpeller could be freely rotated 360 degrees horizontally to create thrust in any direction; thus, it acted as propulsor as well as rudder. Due to the outstanding manoeuvrability offered, the Rexpeller was often employed in tugboats, supply boats, special-purpose workboats, research vessels, drill ships, shuttle tankers and other vessels.

In 2021, Kongsberg Maritime (KM) secured contracts worth approximately NOK 250 million to design and equip two construction service operation vessels (CSOV/SOV) for the Norway-based shipowner Awind AS (a fully-owned subsidiary of Integrated Wind Solutions AS). The vessels were designed with focus on decreased emissions and improved sustainability. This focus was reflected by the comprehensive Kongsberg Maritime integrated equipment solution, which included permanent magnet azimuth thrusters, generators, electrical systems, a fully integrated bridge with navigation, DP and automation systems, deck machinery equipment and control systems.

In 2019, Brunvoll entered into a contract with the Kongsberg Group on delivery of propulsion system to “Yara Birkeland”. Brunvoll’s delivery included two pulling azimuth propellers for propulsion and two tunnel thrusters for manoeuvring, all of which would gain power from an accompanying 6.8 MWh battery pack.

Clearly, the need and efforts towards equipping fleets with modern propulsion systems are likely to contribute towards growth of global azimuth thrusters market.

Key Findings of the Report:

  • The need to equip fleets with modern systems that enhance manoeuvrability and steering capability are likely to stimulate the market. 
  • Advanced, efficient and environmentally friendly solutions are expected to drive the market.
  • North America, Europe and Asia Pacific are projected to be key markets.

Market Analysis by Type, Drive System, Application and Region:

  • By type, the market is segmented into Less than 1500KW, 1500KW-3500KW, and More than 3500KW.
  • By drive system, the market is classified into Diesel Drive System, Electric Drive System, Hydraulic Drive System, and Others.
  • By application, the market is classified into Tugboat, Naval Ships, Recreational Boats, Offshore Support Vessel, Ferries and Freighter, and Others.
  • By region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.

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