Bound4blue installs first fixed suction sails on RoRo ship

Spanish cleantech engineering company bound4blue has installed three fixed suction sails on RoRo ship Ville de Bordeaux owned by French shipping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA).


 Following the installation of eSAIL foundations in Poland in November 2023, bound4blue completed the installation of suction sails on 5,200-dwt Ville de Bordeaux (built 2004).

Ville de Bordeaux is on charter to Airbus and will be used to transport A320 Family components from Europe for final assembly at the aircraft manufacturer’s US factory in Mobile, Alabama.

The installation process involved minimal downtime for the vessel. The ship departed Saint Nazaire in France on its maiden voyage with the eSAILs on March 3 and is set to arrive in Mobile approximately two weeks later.  

The installation of the eSAILs is expected to contribute to Airbus’ target to halve CO2 emissions from its maritime logistics operations by 2030, versus a 2015 baseline. Moreover, LDA believes that wind-assisted propulsion is a key decarbonization solution that can help the company reach its goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

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“The Ville de Bordeaux installation takes us one step closer to that goal. The sails look fantastic, and we look forward to seeing them in action. Along with our client Airbus we’re proud to be among the first movers in this space,” said Mathieu Muzeau, Transport & Logistic General Manager at LDA. 

This installation is our fourth ship project and the first of a fixed suction sail on a ro-ro vessel. It proves that suction sails can be fitted on ships with a high weather deck and large windage area meeting all required stability criteria. We’re very grateful to LDA for their commitment to the project and for choosing the eSAILs® as a proven and affordable energy-saving solution,” CTO of bound4blue, David Ferrer, added.

According to bound4blue, each eSAIL generates six to seven times more lift than a conventional sail thanks to an electric-powered air suction system that helps the airflow to re-adhere to the sail. All this force allows for the reduction of the load on the ship’s main engines.  

Meanwhile, bound4blue has also signed additional commercial agreements with several other shipowners. These include the installation of four 26-metre-high eSAILs on the chartered-in, 35,584-dwt juice carrier MV Atlantic Orchard (built 2014). The project, undertaken in collaboration with Wisby Tankers of Sweden, is expected to reduce annual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by at least 10 percent. 

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In the tanker segment, Norwegian company Odfjell is gearing up to retrofit the eSAIL system this year on a chemical tanker, the first such vessel to harness this technology. Eastern Pacific Shipping of Singapore also recently agreed to install three 22-metre eSAILs on its 50,332-dwt Pacific Sentinel (built 2019). 

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