The largest ship to date has had wind propulsion kit fixed to its deck. Pan Ocean’s 325,000 dwt Sea Zhoushan very large ore carrier newbuild, due to go on charter to Brazilian miner Vale, is now sporting five white, 25 m high Norsepower rotor sails across its huge deck. The rotor sails can be tilted by using hydraulic cylinders. The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the sails start automatically.
The sails’ manufacturer, Norsepower, claims the new vessel will enjoy an efficiency gain of up to 8% and a consequent reduction of up to 3,400 tons of CO2 per year. By Splash estimates, the installed equipment will result in fuel savings of just over $500,000 a year based on today’s Rotterdam VLSFO prices.
Further wind rotors are likely to be added on other ships on contract to the Brazilian miner. Rodrigo Bermelho, shipping technical manager at Vale, said that if the pilot with the Sea Zhoushan proves effective, at least 40% of Vale’s long term chartered fleet could be able to use the technology, which would result in a reduction of almost 1.5% of Vale’s annual iron ore maritime transport emissions.
Commenting on the installation, Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said: “Installing our rotor sails on the first VLOC demonstrates that our technology is adaptable across varied operational profiles and vessel types. As vessel operators and charterers strive to decarbonise, the value of wind propulsion for both a retrofit and newbuild vessels is undeniable.”