World’s largest short sea RoRo fitted with rotor sails

Luxembourg-based shipping group CLdN has welcomed back into the fleet its short-sea roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel MV Delphin which has been fitted with two tilting rotor sails.

MV Delphine; Image credit CLdN;

The shipowner contracted Finnish cleantech company Norsepower in March 2022 to carry out the installation.

With two 35mx5m rotor sails, Norsepower has estimated that the technology would achieve a fuel and emission reduction saving of between 7 to 10% for this vessel, depending on the route.

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MV Delphine is the first vessel in the CLdN fleet to be fitted with the system and will return to service from Zeebrugge, Belgium, as of February 27.

The vessel has a cargo capacity of over 8,000 lane meters and transits between the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe. It is the largest and one of the most fuel-efficient short-sea RoRo vessels operating in the world today with 28 grammes of CO2 emitted per tonne of cargo shipped per km travelled, CLdN said.

The rotor sails, which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships, incorporate a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to add forward thrust to a ship. The solution is fully automated and detects whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings.

The sails are also tiltable, allowing the vessel to pass under bridges and maintaining operational flexibility.

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CLdN said that it would work with the Maritime Technology Division at Ghent University to study the performance of the sails on the MV Delphine in the coming months.

“CLdN is the top performer amongst its ro-ro shipping peers in Northwest Europe, producing the lowest CO2 emissions per tonne of freight carried with its fleet of modern ships. By investing in technologically advanced ships and terminals, CLdN enables its customers to improve their carbon footprint and support them in making their supply chains more efficient and robust,” Gary Walker, Chief Operating Officer, CLdN RoRo, said.

“The rotor sails will maximise our fuel and emissions savings on the MV Delphine and we will use this project to help determine how the technology could be deployed on the current CLdN fleet and our new-build vessels. Delphine’s redeployment to the fleet will help meet the current high levels of customer demand.”

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