Marubeni to install four suction sails on Panamax bulker

Spanish rigid sail developer bound4blue and dry bulk shipping company MMSL PTE. LTD., a wholly owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation based in Singapore, have signed an agreement to install four suction sails on the Crimson Kingdom.

Crimson Kingdom; Image credit: bound4blue

According to the preliminary studies, the 229-meter length Panamax bulk carrier will be retrofitted with four 26-metre-high eSAILs®, expected to be the largest suction sails ever built and installed on a vessel. 

The installation is scheduled to take place in 2023/24, making Crimson Kingdom the first wind-assisted vessel owned by Marubeni.

After the installation, the vessel will be operated by MaruKlav Management Inc., which is a Panamax Pool company jointly owned by Marubeni and Torvald Klaveness Group from Norway.

The suction sails are expected to reduce the ship’s fuel costs and annual CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent in favorable trade routes, while improving at the same time the vessel’s EEXI and CII.

The installation on Crimson Kingdom will probe the potential of our suction sails on bulk carriers, a strategic segment for our company. This agreement with Marubeni will enable us to scale up our technology to the next level, installing our 26-metre units on a bulk carrier for the first time and giving us the opportunity to partner with one of the most important international shipowners,” commented José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of bound4blue.

“Marubeni is aspiring to become a Forerunner in Green Business, and we will continue to contribute on the reduction of GHG emissions and realization of a decarbonized society by actively participating in projects that represent a benefit for the environment. For that reason, we are partnering with bound4blue to install their suction sails on the Crimson Kingdom, due to the financial potential that their technology represents for our fleet while having a high decarbonisation impact,” said Mr. Yasutomo Miyake, General Manager, Ship Project Dept. of Marubeni.

Marubeni joins French maritime firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) which also announced plans to fit one of its vessels with suction sails from bound4blue earlier this year.

Related Article

The adoption of wind propulsion systems as a way of boosting ships’ efficiency is getting traction in the shipping industry especially ahead of the entrance into force of the ever-stricter environmental regulations.

Wind propulsion technology alone can deliver around 22.3% reduction in carbon intensity when combined with speed reduction measures. However, this figure can reach up to 70% with in voyage optimisation, increasing voyage time, weather routing, and speed reduction measures, according to International Windship Association (IWSA).

There are seven categories of wind propulsion technologies: rotor sails, kites, hard or rigid sails, soft sails, suction wings, turbines, and hull forms.