Maersk Pelican

Maersk Tankers sells product tanker fitted with rotor sails

Maersk Pelican, the world’s first product tanker testing the use of wind propulsion technology, has been sold and delivered to its new owner, Maersk Tankers said.

Maersk Pelican; Image by Maersk Tankers

Data from VesselsValue shows that the LR2 tanker has been sold to Buana Lintas Lautan, an oil and gas company from Indonesia, for an undisclosed price.

The 13-year old, 109,600 cbm vessel has been renamed Timberwolf, and it has been fixed on a one-year charter at $14,5000 + profit share to Shell Trading and Shipping Co, according to VV.

Maersk Tankers installed the two Norsepower rotor sails onboard Maersk Pelican in 2018 and over a one-year test period, it showcased an 8.2% drop in fuel consumption and emissions.

The rotor sails are large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to create a pressure differential, the Magnus Effect, that propels the vessel forward.

View on Youtube.

The ship was sailing on routes in Far East Asia, which was far from optimal when it comes to wind conditions, and afterward more on transocean voyages which helped boost the numbers later on. During this time, the technology was used 50% of the time in line with weather conditions.

However, a ship like Maersk Pelican sailing on a different route, like a North-Atlantic crossing from Rotterdam to New York, for example, would have the potential to achieve up to a 20% cut in fuel consumption, Norsepower believes.

The payback period for the technology for LR2 types of ships is expected to range between 4 and 9 years.

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The payback on investment was not the key driver behind Maersk Tankers’ trial of the technology, but rather proving the potential of wind power to help the sector decarbonize and bolster its efficiency.

“This vessel was special to us,” says Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk Tankers.

While the vessel is sold with the technology installed onboard, we will continue to work with relevant parties to enable the use of wind propulsion technology onboard product tankers, just as we will continue to capitalise on existing and new fuel-saving solutions to help owners optimise vessel performance and cut CO2 emissions.”