Norsepower rolls out rotor sail leasing initiative

Finnish cleantech company Norsepower Oy, Japan’s shipowner IINO Kaiun Kaisha (IINO Lines), and compatriot Mizuho Leasing Company have signed a cooperation agreement to launch a mechanical sail leasing initiative for Norsepower’s rotor sail.

Image credit: Norsepower

This move aims to increase shipping companies’ access to Norsepower’s wind propulsion tech as companies look for solutions to cut fuel consumption and emissions in line with the IMO’s 2050 decarbonization targets.

Norsepower has a nearly 10-year track record of rotor sail installations onboard commercial vessels. However, the adoption of commercialized energy efficiency products such as Norsepower’s rotor sails has been hindered by the traditional requirement for upfront investment.

This initial investment can be a significant barrier to technology take-up for small to medium-sized shipowners and operators, despite the achievable fuel consumption, GHG, and other emissions reductions. This means that thousands of vessels on the water today are missing out on the potential benefits of energy efficiency solutions.

The leasing initiative aims to remove these barriers and enable greater accessibility to finance Norsepower’s product, the wind-propulsion firm said.

As disclosed, the initiative’s focus is to provide shipowners and operators with leasing packages that start at a minimum five-year term against a fixed monthly fee. 

The concept is being developed amid growing recognition that GHG and other emissions reductions with low carbon or green fuels alone prior to 2030 will be minimal. This is due to the limited availability of alternative fuels, placing an onus on energy efficiency solutions.

“Norsepower Rotor Sails™ are now an undisputed choice for making meaningful emissions reductions and managing escalating fuel bills. Having our product as standard onboard all suitable vessels should be feasible for shipowners and operators of all sizes,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said.

“That’s why we’re delighted to introduce new, competitively priced leasing services with our partners. By doing so, we could lower upfront capital requirements and encourage vessel owners to take action and upgrade their fleets.

“We have fostered a strong relationship with Norsepower, installing its rotor sails on two of our vessels. Now, we want to make this product more accessible to the industry. We are confident that bringing together our complementary leasing and finance capabilities with Norsepower’s proven product will accelerate the shipping industry’s journey to decarbonization,” Ryuichi Osonoe, Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer at IINO Lines, said. 

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Yasuhiko Hashimoto, Managing Executive Officer at Mizuho Leasing, explained how experience from other sectors has shown how improving access to finance and providing flexible options for accessing sustainable technologies can make a real-world impact on improving environmental performance.

The Norsepower rotor sail is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor. It uses a small amount of the ship’s electric power to rotate cylinder-shaped rotors to generate powerful thrust that saves fuel and reduces emissions.

The company has accumulated over 300,000 operating hours of verified performance data that show average fuel consumption savings of between 5-25%, or more in good conditions.

Estimates show that nearly 30,000 vessels across tankers, bulk carriers, gas carriers, roll-on/roll-off, and passenger vessels currently on the water are likely candidates for wind-assisted propulsion retrofits.