Photo: Image Courtesy: VPLP

VPLP Unveils Sail-Enhanced RoRo Design

French naval architecture firm VPLP has developed a new roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel design equipped with four “Oceanwings” that would assist the ship’s main propulsion system.

The 121-meter-long RoRo vessel was developed for transporting components of the Ariane 6 rocket from Europe to French Guiana.

ArianeGroup, the primary contractor for the Ariane launch vehicle, put out a call for tenders concerning the transportation of the various parts of the new Ariane 6 launcher from Europe to the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana.

The contract to build the vessel was awarded to the maritime company Alizés, a joint venture between the offshore services specialist Jifmar and Zéphyr & Borée, a young maritime company specializing in carbon-free transport.

VPLP Design was entrusted by Alizés with the task of designing a ship, named Canopée, in accordance with the specifications of the project. The design firm came up with a RoRo vessel which is 121 m long and 23 m in the beam, and features a bridge in the bow and an open deck aft with high sides to protect the cargo.

Canopée’s hybrid propulsion comprises four 30 meter high Oceanwings providing a total surface area of 1,452 square metres. These wingsails assist the ship’s propulsion system to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 30%.

Designed by VPLP, Oceanwings are automated and reefable soft wingsails associated with a routing system developed separately. VPLP said that a new company, Ayro, has been set up for the specific purpose of developing Oceanwings.