Orcelle Wind

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to build wind-powered RoRo ship by 2025

Wallenius Wilhelmsen is planning to build a wind-powered Pure Car and Truck Carrier that is expected to achieve up to 90% reduced emissions compared to today’s best vessels.

Orcelle Wind; Image credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Named the Orcelle Wind, the vessel design is scheduled to be ready for contracting with a shipyard by mid-2022, and a finished vessel ready for the high seas by 2025.

It builds on the Oceanbird concept developed by maritime consultancy Wallenius Marine. Wallenius Wilhelmsen will take the concept forward by applying its knowledge from the RoRo business, and conduct a comprehensive viability evaluation.

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There are many considerations that require attention before finalising the Orcelle Wind specification:

  • Overall car capacity of 7,000 vehicles
  • Ability to carry heavy machinery and breakbulk cargo, in addition to cars
  • Length of around 220m and beam (width) of approximately 40m
  • Speeds of 10-12kts under sail that can be increased with the supplemental power system

“Since 2008, we have been able to reduce CO2 intensity by 33%, which is a significant step. But the journey towards zero emissions requires great strides forward.  We believe the Orcelle Wind is one of them,” said Craig Jasienski, CEO Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

“We have the advantage of size and we have world-class customers, partners and employees.  It will take the dedicated collaboration of all to make such a bold initiative as the Orcelle Wind succeed.”

“Orcelle Wind will be our technical and operational testbed for zero emission innovation, where we can assess and develop various zero-emission fuels and technology,” said Erik Noeklebye, EVP and COO Shipping Services at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The very design of the vessel is in the final stages and once completed Wallenius Wilhelmsen will run a tender among the global yards and select the best bid.

Even though the exact price of the vessel is yet to be defined, building the ship is expected to come at a premium due to the level of innovation it will integrate.

Commenting on the financing of the vessel, Jasienski said this was a topic which is yet to be explored deeply. However, he believes a solution could be found by going into the bond market to seek funds.

“I am not very concerned about funding this vessel. We can lift that with our balance sheet or our traditional lenders, “ he said.

“I’m really looking forward to the yards coming to us and saying they want to be the first ones to build a vessel which is going to significantly shift the needle in terms of carbon emissions. This is an incredible opportunity for us and our customers as it is for a yard to participate in absolute innovative solutions for the maritime industry. So which yard is going to be ready for that? I hope that yards are preparing themselves for this now because this is the future and we have to find different ways to solve the energy demands that we have and to reduce the carbon emissions on the way,” Jasienski concluded.