Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Places Largest Order for Rotor Sails
Wind propulsion specialist Norsepower Oy Ltd has received its largest order to date for its cutting-edge Rotor Sail™ technology.
The order was placed by French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs SAS (LDA) to equip three low-emissions newbuild roll-on/roll-off vessels with the technology. The vessels will be used to transport aircraft assembly components for European conglomerate Airbus from Europe to the United States.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail™ technology is a modern adaptation of the Flettner rotor concept. It utilizes electric power to spin cylindrical rotors on the ship’s deck, which then interact with the wind to produce a thrust. This reduces the vessel’s fuel consumption, thereby lowering emissions and costs.
The vessels, designed by Deltamarin, will feature a combination of six 35-meter tall Norsepower Rotor Sails and two dual-fuel engines that run on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Additionally, advanced routing software will optimise the ships’ transatlantic journey, maximizing wind propulsion and minimising drag caused by adverse ocean conditions.
The construction of these vessels is set to take place at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG).
Mathieu Muzeau, Transport and Logistic General Manager at Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, highlighted the importance of wind propulsion in achieving net-zero targets set by the International Maritime Organization.
By 2030, the new fleet is expected to produce 50% fewer CO2 emissions on the Transatlantic route compared to 2023. The rotor sails will be furnished with the newly patented Norsepower Sentient Control™ (NPSCTM), a real-time force measurement, control and savings reporting system. This tool allows for individual control of each rotor, managing the intricate aerodynamic interactions between the sails and the hydrodynamic behaviour of the ship.
“This fleet-wide deal is a game changer for the whole auxiliary wind propulsion industry,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower. “Firstly, it is the biggest deal ever made in the mechanical sails market – and, in a world first, it includes our brand new Norsepower Sentient Control™ tool.”
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