Photo: K Line/Airseas

K Line chooses Seawing automatic kite systems for three more ships

Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has confirmed orders for three additional Seawing systems, bringing to a total of five the number of its vessels that will use Airseas’ wind propulsion technology to reduce their emissions.

K Line
Daisuke Arai, Managing Executive Officer, K Line (Left) and Vincent Bernatets, Chief Executive Officer, Airseas (Right). Courtesy of K Line/Airseas

The Japanese company already contracted the French wind propulsion solution provider for the installation of the wind propulsion systems on two of its Capesize bulkers.

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The additional Seawing units will be installed on three Post-Panamax bulkers, which are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20%, similar to the Capesize bulkers case.

These additional orders are said to demonstrate K Line’s commitment to use wind propulsion as a major pillar of its decarbonisation strategy.

The Seawing systems that will be installed on the K Line’s vessels consist of parafoils that fly around 300 metres above the sea level, harnessing the power of the wind to propel the vessel and reduce the main engine load, aiming to save an average of 20% fuel and emissions.

The systems will use digital twins and advanced automation systems, drawing on aerospace expertise, to ensure that the Seawing systems can be safely deployed, operated and stored at the push of a button with minimal input needed from crew.

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Furthermore, Airseas and K Line signed a technological cooperation partnership to integrate Seawing and K Line’s vessel data platform, named Kawasaki Integrated Maritime Solutions, to maximise the performance of the systems. This will support the Japanese company’s ‘Environmental Vision 2050’, in which the firm has committed to considerably and continuously reduce its GHG emissions, notably through the introduction of innovative technologies.

K Line had previously confirmed that the first of its vessels to be fitted with a Seawing will be a 210,000-dwt Capesize bulker, with the installation to take place in December 2022. The second vessel to feature a Seawing will be a newbuild LNG-fuelled 210,000 dwt bulk carrier, which is currently being built at Nihon Shipyard.

Airseas has a 20-year agreement with K Line, with options for the Seawing to be installed on up to 50 of its vessels in total.

“We have adopted an ambitious net-zero GHG emissions target by 2050, and deploying technologies such as wind propulsion which is a key component of our strategy. We are proud to be partnering with Airseas … that has done so much to bring the technology into the next generation via the development of Seawing. We look forward to seeing it deployed on our fleets in the coming years,” Michitomo Iwashita, Managing Executive Officer of K Line, said.

“We are proud that K Line has selected us as a long-term partner in their journey towards a lower carbon future, and we are delighted to see our partnership going one step further with these new orders and additional technical cooperation activities announced today,” Vincent Bernatets, Co-Founder and CEO of Airseas, commented.

“K Line recognises that ships being built now will need to meet the decarbonisation standards of the 2040’s and 2050’s, as regulators and customers step up pressure for the industry to decarbonise. Wind propulsion systems like the Seawing help lay the long-term foundations for the sustainable shipping of the future by reducing emissions right now, in addition to delivering a strong return on investment in the short term via fuel savings.”