France: Brunvoll propulsion picked for ‘world’s largest’ sailing ships

French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique has chosen Norwegian company Brunvoll to supply the main propulsion for Orient Express Silenseas’s new wind-powered cruise vessels.

Image courtesy: Brunvoll

Expected to be the ‘world’s largest sailing ships’, the 2+2 units were ordered in early 2023 by French hotel group Accord for its subsidiary Orient Express.

In late March 2024, Chantiers de l’Atlantique cut the first steel for OE Corinthian, the first ship in the series which is slated for delivery in 2026. The 26,600-ton newbuild will feature a length of 220 meters and a width of 25 meters.

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As informed, the delivery from Brunvoll will include a propulsion system consisting of a twin-screw configuration with a controllable pitch propeller with a diameter of 3.9 meters. Designed to be fully feathering to limit drag while sailing, the propellers will have direct electrical drive, where Brunvoll will supply its Thrust-OD Box, which works as a thrust bearing with a hydraulic system for the controllable pitch propellers.

The sailing cruise ships will feature three tilting sail masts with a height of more than 100 meters and a surface area of 1,500 square meters each.

What is more, the ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and be hydrogen-ready.

“This Project confirms Brunvoll being one of the front runners concerning Propulsion design and Main Propulsion efficiency where our skilled hydrodynamicists have been working closely together with Chantiers del’ Atlantique on the development and assessment of different propulsion solutions for these spectacular vessels. A huge thanks from us at Brunvoll to Chantiers de l’Atlantique and the Oriente Express for the good cooporation and team effort put into this project. We hope to see them sailing in the Norwegian Fjords sometime!”, Arnfinn Brautaset, Sales Manager at Brunvoll AS, commented.

Last month, the French government and industry representatives signed a landmark wind propulsion act. By signing the pact, the government confirmed its support for those involved in wind-assisted ship propulsion. It said the ultimate objective is to capture 30% of the global market share with French wind propulsion technology.

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