Illustration credit: HR Wallingford

World’s Largest Short Sea Car Carrier to Get Tilting Rotor Sails

Mike Schuler
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March 8, 2022

Finnish technology company Norsepower has announced an agreement with global logitics and European shortsea shipping provider CLdN to install two tilting Rotor Sails on board a roll-on/roll-off car carrier.

With a cargo capacity close to 8,000 lan meters, the 2018-built MV Delphin is the largest shortsea Ro-Ro vessel in operation. The ship is operated between the UK, Ireland and Europe.

The two 35-meter-tall by 5-meter-wide Rotor Sails are expected to save the ship between 7% and 10% of its fuel consumption, depending on the route. Preparations for the insallation are currently taking place with the installation anticipated to be completed by December 2022.

Norsepower’s Rotor Sails are a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to help propel a ship. At the time of contract signing, this will be the seventh vessel to be installed with Norsepower’s Rotor Sails.

“Seeing the interest grow in our tilting Rotor Sail design demonstrates how the industry is looking for proven, flexible solutions to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce fuel costs across a range of vessel sizes and operations,” said Tuomas Riski, CEO at Norsepower.

Previous installations of Rotor Sails have taken place on board both new and existing vessels, including 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. The installation onboard the Delphine will mark the third with tilting Rotor Sails, allowing the vessel to navigate on height-restricted routes.

“Norsepower’s Rotor Sail installation on the MV Delphine demonstrates how the use of clean technology can modernise and evolve the performance of fleets’ younger vessels to manage emissions and help to increase asset value,” said Riski. “With fuel becoming increasingly expensive, making savings will also have a huge impact on commercial success. Working with CLdN and its ambitious team is an opportunity to demonstrate what our technology has to offer to continue strengthening the environmental and commercial performance of its fleet.”

Gary Walker, COO Shipping, CLdN, added: “In 2021, CLdN announced it is the top performer amongst its Ro-Ro shipping peers in Northwest Europe for CO2 emissions per tonne of freight carried. By investing in technologically advanced ships and terminals, CLdN enables its customers to improve their carbon footprint and support them at the same time in making their supply chains more efficient and robust. This demand for cleaner shipping is growing and we are committed to making measurable progress. Installing two of Norsepower’s Rotor Sails will maximise our fuel and emissions savings on the MV Delphine, and this pilot project will help determine how the Rotor Sail technology could be rolled out on the current CLdN fleet and our new-build vessels. We look forward to the installation and subsequent results.”

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