Tufton’s bulker to save 10 pct of fuel after fitting rotor sails

China-based Chengxi Shipyard has completed the installation of Anemoi’s rotor sails on TR Lady, an 82,000 dwt Kamsarmax bulk carrier. The installation was completed in June 2023.

Image credit: Tufton

TR Lady is owned by TR Lady Shipping Ltd, a portfolio company of Tufton Investment Management and is on a time charter with Cargill.

The vessel was retrofitted with three 5×24m rotor sails produced by wind-propulsion provider Anemoi Marine Technologies. The technology was installed on Anemoi’s patented transverse rail deployment system.

This system enables the sails, which are fixed to the centre line during voyages, to be moved port or starboard when berthed for cargo operations, meaning loading and unloading can continue without being obstructed. Class approvals have been awarded by Lloyd’s Register.

Rotor sails, also known as ‘Flettner Rotors’, are vertical cylinders which, when driven to rotate, harness the renewable power of the wind to provide additional forward thrust. The mechanical sails capitalise on the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect.

Image credit: Anemoi

The vessel has now completed its first voyage with the rotor sails from China to Australia.

The companies said that during the voyage, Anemoi engineers sailed with the vessel for sea acceptance testing and trials. As informed, initial performance results are positive suggesting that TR Lady can see average annual fuel and emissions savings ‘exceeding the original expectations.’ Specifically, the retrofit project is expected to result in 10% estimated fuel savings and emission reduction per annum.

The performance of the rotor sails will continue to be monitored over the coming months.

“We and our investors are committed to shipping’s decarbonisation journey and believe wind propulsion is a key enabler in helping Tufton reach its 2050 net-zero goals. We are very proud to have been able to support this innovative application of decarbonisation technology on TR Lady,” Andrew Hampson, CEO of Tufton, said.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Tufton who share our decarbonisation ambition and belief in wind propulsion as a key part of the future of shipping,” Jan Dieleman, President of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business, said.

“I am delighted to see the project brought to life and for the initial performance results to be so positive. The installation is a testament to our large supply chain in China and our dedicated team. We look forward to assessing the performance and seeing continued positive results for our environment,” Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Marine Technologies, noted.

The installation project was announced back in 2021.

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According to Anemoi, the TR Lady retrofit project has been nominated for the ‘Retrofit Project of the Year’ award at the Annual Marine Propulsion Decarbonisation Awards 2023 and can be voted for until the 29th August.

Tufton joins a number of bulk shipping companies which have started to explore the potential of wind propulsion as part of their decarbonization efforts.

In 2021, Oldendorff Carriers signed a joint development project with Anemoi, LR and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design and Research Institute (SDARI) to develop a wind-assisted propulsion solution for dry bulkers.

In addition, IINO Kaiun Kaisha (IINO LINES) and Electric Power Development (J-POWER) have agreed to install the rotor sail manufactured by Finnish Norsepower Oy on the dedicated coal carrier Yodohine.

 This is the second time that J-POWER has installed a wind propulsion auxiliary system on a dedicated coal carrier. The company announced a BLUE MISSION 2050 strategy in February 2021, and is working to make its power generation business carbon-neutral by 2050.