Maersk tanker to use Norsepower rotor sails

'Maersk Pelican' The two 30m tall Norsepower rotor sails onboard the 'Maersk Pelican'. Credit: Norsepower

Two 30m tall Norsepower rotor sails have been installed onboard product tanker vessel 'Maersk Pelican' to target a reduction in fuel cost and associated emissions on typical global shipping routes of 7-10%.

The rotor sails were installed with project partners Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell Shipping & Maritime at the Port of Rotterdam. The first voyage with the wind propulsion technology onboard will begin within the next few weeks.

Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said: “We have great ambitions for our technology and its role in decarbonising the shipping industry. The installation of our largest ever Rotor Sails in partnership with these industry leading organisations shows that there is an appetite to apply new technologies.

"The attitude towards wind propulsion is changing all the time. We need innovative technologies to reach these emissions targets, for example 2050 zero emissions."

Testing since 2014

An 18m tall Norsepower rotor sail has been in operation on Bore's commercial cargo vessel  Estraden since 2014, with a second added in 2015. A 24m tall rotor sail has also been in operation on Viking Line's LNG ferry Viking Grace from April this year.

Norsepower's first commercial sale took place in spring with Viking Line. Norsepower will supply two 24m high rotor sails for a Viking Line naval ship to be built in China by Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry.

Sails take approximately six months to make but the vessel is anticipated to be ready by 2021 and will operate between Oslo and Stockholm.

Mr Riski said: "Finding innovative customers is the only way to take new technologies to the market. But to do this you have to collect the data, analyse it and then be open in the findings. We did this for Estrada and we will do the same for the other vessels."

Lloyd's Register has provided class approvals for the three test installations, while assessment by DNV GL is currently taking place and is expected with approval in approximately six month's time.

In 2016, €2.6m funding for development was allocated to Norsepower by the European Commission and the Finnish Government’s funding agency for Innovation, Tekes. Norsepower is currently seeking an additional €5m in funding from existing and new shareholders.

Norsepower also hopes to diversify its production base. Mr Riski explained: "Currently we build the sails in Europe. We make composite parts in Poland and the steel parts are so far built in Finland and the Netherlands. But now we are shifting our production to China for the Asia deliveries.

"We are using partners to build in Asia and are currently searching China for partners to build the composite and steel parts."

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