Norsepower: 5 tiltable rotor sails installed on Vale-chartered ore carrier

Finland-based clean tech company Norsepower has installed five tilting rotor sails onboard a newbuild very large ore carrier (VLOC) chartered by Vale, a Brazilian mining company.

Courtesy of Vale

As explained, the first installation of Norsepower’s solution on a bulk carrier demonstrates the adaptability of the technology to reduce fuel consumption, fuel costs and reduce emissions across a variety of vessel types.

The 325,000 dwt Sea Zhoushan is owned by Pan Ocean Ship Management and will be chartered by Vale after construction is completed in China.

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To enable efficient cargo operations, the five 24-meter high and 4-meter diameter rotor sails can be tilted by using hydraulic cylinders, according to Norsepower.

The clean tech company said it has analyzed the routes for the vessel chartered by Vale and estimates that its technology would be able to achieve an efficiency gain of up to 8% and a consequent reduction of up to 3,400 tons of CO2 per year.

“The five tilting rotor sails will allow Vale to maintain flexible cargo operations while also saving fuel and emissions. Installing our rotor sails on the first VLOC demonstrates that our technology is adaptable across varied operational profiles and vessel types,” Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said.

“As vessel operators and charterers strive to decarbonise, the value of wind propulsion for both a retrofit and newbuild vessels is undeniable. The rotor sails can reduce a vessel’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and future-proof vessels against impending IMO greenhouse gas regulations as well as against inevitable fuel price increases as new fuels enter the market.”

“We are committed to supporting the adoption of clean technology solutions for shipping to ensure that Vale’s sustainability objectives are achieved. Installing five rotor sails will maximise our fuel and emissions savings,” Rodrigo Bermelho, Shipping Technical Manager, Vale, commented.

“If the pilot proves effective, it is estimated that at least 40% of the fleet will be able to use the technology, which would result in a reduction of almost 1.5% of Vale’s annual iron ore maritime transport emissions.”

The Norsepower rotor sail is the first third-party verified and commercially operational auxiliary wind propulsion technology for the global maritime industry. The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the rotor sails start automatically.