Union Maritime

Union Maritime to equip 34 tanker newbuilds with WindWings

UK shipping company Union Maritime has joined forces with compatriot design and engineering firm BAR Technologies to deploy wind-assisted propulsion solutions on a total of 34 new vessels.

Courtesy of Union Maritime

The newbuilds include fourteen long-range 2 (LR2), 12 chemical and eight medium-range (MR) tankers.

Union Maritime has been working with BAR Technologies, the supplier of WindWings – a rigid sail technology that uses wind propulsion — to deliver average daily savings of 1.5 tonnes of fuel per wing and tonnes of CO2 per wing on typical global routes. The shipping company is also working with Finnish company Norsepower for rotor sails on smaller vessels.

This propulsion technology is said to have huge environmental benefits and economic incentives for shipowners and charterers alike – as well as the wider shipping and trading community – in the form of significantly reduced fuel costs. Crucially, all this is achieved without compromising on speed, efficiency, and quality of service, according to the duo.

At the same time as deploying the wind propulsion technology on its ships, Union Maritime is also working with BAR Technologies’ shareholders on a significant strategic equity investment into the company, reflecting the companies’ long-term commitment and strategic alignment.

Wind propulsion is the central feature of Union Maritime’s wider environmental initiatives: the company is also deploying dual-fuel LNG engines on up to eight LR2s, working with Bar Technologies on its transformational AeroBridge superstructure which provide further efficiency and crew comfort, as well as various other technologies.

Related Article

Wind-assisted ship propulsion is becoming increasingly popular among shipowners who search for efficient ways to decarbonize their operations. In late March 2024, there were 37 wind propulsion-installed vessels along with eleven wind-ready ships which have a combined total of 2.5 million dwt, the International Windship Association (IWSA) recently revealed.

A critical mass of demonstrator ships is forming in the bulker, tanker, RoRo and general cargo segments, with developments in other ship segments accelerating, too.