Photo: Oceanbird

JV formed to speed up deployment of Oceanbird wind propulsion tech

On 22 November 2021, Sweden-based companies Alfa Laval and Wallenius finalized the creation of AlfaWallOceanbird, a 50/50 joint venture that will supply wind propulsion solutions for cargo vessels and other ship types.

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As explained, the business entity will now be able to take Oceanbird wind power solutions from marine concept to commercial reality.

Conceived by Wallenius, this innovative system for vessel propulsion uses wing sails that have more in common with modern planes than traditional sailing ships.

Fully applied it can reduce emissions by 90% on the largest ocean-going vessels.

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“COP26 put the need for accessible technology in the spotlight,” Niclas Dahl, Managing Director, Oceanbird, who assumed his position on 1 December, said.

“Decarbonizing shipping is imperative, and wind is a free source of power with a substantial role to play, and minimum need of infrastructure.”

Niclas Dahl comes from the role of Vice President of Marine Separation & Heat Transfer Equipment at Alfa Laval. Overseeing Oceanbird’s development continues a sustainability journey for Dahl, whose long career includes several years of development and launch of Alfa Laval PureBallast, a ballast water treatment solution that was also created in partnership with Wallenius.

“As the enthusiasm for wind power grows, we’re moving rapidly to build on what we’ve achieved. Our next wing sail prototype is on the horizon, and we’re on target to have a transatlantic car carrier fully propelled by Oceanbird technology in 2025,” Dahl added.

Earlier this month, Oceanbird was among the winners of the Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021, which was organized by the International Windship Association (IWSA) to promote wind-powered shipping during COP26.

Niclas Dahl expects further vessel designs and retrofit applications to follow, sooner rather than later.

“Wind is an opportunity we must seize now,” he concluded.

“There’s simply no time to waste in phasing out fossil fuels.”