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Short Sea Ro-Ro Returns to Service Sporting Two Rotor Sails

Photo courtesy CLdN

Short Sea Ro-Ro Returns to Service Sporting Two Rotor Sails

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 5451
February 27, 2023

The world’s largest short sea roll-on/roll-off vessel has returned to service sporting two new rotor sails that will help to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by harnessing the power of the wind.

European logistics and short sea shipping provider CLdN announced that successful installation of the 35-meter-tall by 5-meter-wide Norsepower rotors sails aboard its 2018-built M/V Delphine.

AIS data from shows the vessel departed Zeebrugge, Belgium on Monday, marking

Norsepower rotor sails are a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power and provide forward thrust.

With a cargo capacity close to 8,000 lane meters, Delphine is the largest Ro-Ro vessel in the short sea shipping sector. Serving the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe, it is already one of the sector’s most efficient vessels. The two fully-automated and tilting rotor sails are expected to save Delphine between 7% and 10% of its fuel consumption, depending on the route.

“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,” said Gary Walker, CEO of CLdN RoRo. “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.”

CLdN says it will work with the Maritime Technology Division at Ghent University to study the performance of the sails in the coming months. 

Norsepower rotor sails can be installed on a range of vessel types and are suitable for both newbuilds and existing vessels. With this latest installation, Delphine becomes the seventh ship to feature the technology and third with tilting sails, which are suited for vessel’s that navigate on height-restricted routes. 

“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 newbuild vessels. Delphine’s redeployment to the fleet will help meet the current high levels of customer demand,” added Walker.

Earlier installations of Norsepower rotor sails have included the tanker Timber Wolf (ex-Maersk Pelican), two passenger vessels, two Ro-Ros, and a newbuild 325,000 dwt Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) equipped with a record five tilting Rotor Sails. 

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