Louis Dreyfus Armateurs picks CSSC Wuchang Shipbuilding for wind-powered ROROs

French maritime firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) has inked a construction contract with Chinese CSSC Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group for three low-emission roll-on /roll-off vessels supported by wind-assisted propulsion.

© Copyright Louis Dreyfus Armateurs / Airbus

The construction of the vessels has been commissioned by Airbus as part of its fleet renewal efforts.

Under the announcement made in October 2023, LDA will build, own, and operate these new vessels, which are scheduled to enter into service in 2026. However, at the time the duo did not disclose the name of the potential builder of the ships.

Image credit: Wuchang Shipbuilding

The new fleet is projected to lower average annual transatlantic CO2 emissions from 68,000 to 33,000 tonnes by 2030. This initiative forms a key component of Airbus’ strategic plan to achieve a significant reduction of up to 63% in its overall industrial emissions by the conclusion of the decade.

This target is benchmarked against the baseline year of 2015 and aligns with the 1.5°C trajectory outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The upcoming ships will be propelled by six Flettner rotors paired with two dual-fuel engines operating on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol.

In addition, routing software will help boost the efficiency of the vessels’ transatlantic journeys. This technology aims to optimize the route, leveraging wind propulsion to the fullest extent and avoiding drag caused by adverse ocean conditions.

These vessels are set to carry aircraft subassemblies between manufacturing facilities located in Europe and the United States.

The shipbuilder said that the latest contract comes on the back of a solid partnership between
Wuchang Shipbuilding and LDA Company. Namely, the shipbuilder has so far built and delivered 11 13000 dwt deck transport ships to LDA Company and they are operating efficiently. The ongoing construction of six more 13000 dwt deck transport ships is progressing as planned, the shipbuilder added.