Photo: Wind-powered car carrier design; Image courtesy; Wallenius Marine

Wallenius Marine AB joins International Windship Association

Wind-powered car carrier design; Image courtesy; Wallenius Marine

Swedish-based Wallenius Marine AB has become a member of the International Windship Association (IWSA), the not-for-profit organization promoting and facilitating the uptake of wind propulsion for commercial shipping.

The move comes on the heels of the company’s unveiling of the newly designed wind-powered vessel, the Oceanbird.

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In line with the design, the 200m long, 32,000t car carrier, with a capacity to carry 7,000 vehicles, will be fitted with retractable 80m high wings.

The vessel is designed with an average speed of 10 knots under sail power alone and on favourable routes will reduce emissions by up to 90%.

Wallenius Marine Vice President, Per Tunell, said “we are really excited by the development of wind solutions in general, and of course our pioneering Oceanbird design in particular. We see the application of direct wind propulsion as a key solution to the industry decarbonisation challenges. Therefore, it is only natural for us to join the International Windship Association in its drive to further develop the sector.

“The industry is looking for decarbonisation solutions that are credible and available now or in the next couple of years, and wind propulsion delivers that,” Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary-General, said.

“We look forward to working with the Wallenius Marine team to further the uptake of 21st century wind propulsion solutions across the fleet.’

There are several solutions on the market that have been commercialized or are in an advanced stage of research and development such as rotor sails, rigid or soft sails to ventilated foil systems, and kites.

According to IWSA, retrofit wind-assist solutions can deliver 5-20% of the power requirement, and thus the savings in fuel, with the potential to reach 30%. An optimised newbuild vessel has an even greater potential for savings because wind can be used as the primary source of propulsion.

The association estimates that there will be 40 ships with wind propulsion installed by the end of 2022.