Oceanbird wind propulsion technology accelerates its way to market with JV company

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December 1, 2021

On 22 November, Alfa Laval and Wallenius finalized the 50/50 joint venture that will take Oceanbird wind power solutions from cutting-edge marine concept to commercial reality. With Niclas Dahl as Managing Director, the partnership will make good on the promise of sustainable wind-assisted and wind propulsion.

Driving decarbonization with wind
Through the joint venture, formally named AlfaWall Oceanbird, the two companies will intensify the development of Oceanbird wind power technology. Conceived by Wallenius, this innovative system for vessel propulsion uses wing sails that have more in common with modern planes than traditional sailing ships. Fully applied it can reduce emissions by 90% on the largest ocean-going vessels.

“COP26 put the need for accessible technology in the spotlight,” says Niclas Dahl, Managing Director, Oceanbird, who assumed his position on 1 December. “Decarbonizing shipping is imperative, and wind is a free source of power with a substantial role to play, and minimum need of infrastructure.”

Niclas Dahl comes from the role of Vice President of Marine Separation & Heat Transfer Equipment at Alfa Laval. Overseeing Oceanbird’s development continues a sustainability journey for Dahl, whose long career includes several years of development and launch of Alfa Laval PureBallast, a market-leading ballast water treatment solution that was also created in partnership with Wallenius.

Advancing with industry acclaim
Already, the Oceanbird team has considerable momentum. Oceanbird was among the winners of the Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021, which was organized by the International Windship Association (IWSA) to promote wind-powered shipping during COP26. Selected by jury as a finalist, Oceanbird carried the Wind Propulsion Products Award category in open voting with 40,000 participants.

“We’re proud of the recognition from our marine industry colleagues, which confirms that Oceanbird is on the right path,” says Niclas Dahl. “As the enthusiasm for wind power grows, we’re moving rapidly to build on what we’ve achieved. Our next wing sail prototype is on the horizon, and we’re on target to have a transatlantic car carrier fully propelled by Oceanbird technology in 2025.”

Niclas Dahl expects further vessel designs and retrofit applications to follow, sooner rather than later. “Wind is an opportunity we must seize now,” he concludes. “There’s simply no time to waste in phasing out fossil fuels.”

This is Alfa Laval
Alfa Laval is active in the areas of Energy, Marine, and Food & Water, offering its expertise, products, and service to a wide range of industries in some 100 countries. The company is committed to optimizing processes, creating responsible growth, and driving progress – always going the extra mile to support customers in achieving their business goals and sustainability targets.

Alfa Laval’s innovative technologies are dedicated to purifying, refining, and reusing materials, promoting more responsible use of natural resources. They contribute to improved energy efficiency and heat recovery, better water treatment, and reduced emissions. Thereby, Alfa Laval is not only accelerating success for its customers, but also for people and the planet. Making the world better, every day. It’s all about Advancing better™.

Alfa Laval has 16,700 employees. Annual sales in 2020 were SEK 41.5 billion (approx. EUR 4 billion). The company is listed on Nasdaq OMX.


This is Wallenius
Wallenius, with headquarter in Stockholm, has been a frontrunner in the global shipping industry since 1934. The company offers a complete and sustainable shipping service – from innovative design and newbuilding to ship management.

Wallenius was an early adopter of a zero-emissions target in shipping. With a long-term perspective and an integrated way of working, operational feedback is used to enhance performance and optimize the design of next generation of vessels. As a result, Wallenius designs high efficiency vessels with minimum fuel consumption. The vision is to lead the way towards truly sustainable shipping.
Wallenius developed the Oceanbird concept in co-operation with KTH and SSPA in the wPCC (wind Powered Car-Carrier) project. The project is active during 2019-2022 and is supported by the Swedish Transport Administration.



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