Maersk’s ‘Spinning Sail’ to Revolutionise Shipping

 16 Mar 2017 09.38am

Maersk Tankers is to fit two 30 metre rotating sails to one of its vessels in a move that could revolutionize the way vessels are powered industry-wide.

Finnish company Norsepower has announced that an updated model of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that captures wind power in order to propel ships – is to be used in the project.

Norsepower believe that the new sails are expected to cut fuel consumption and emissions on the 110,000-ton tanker by around 10%.

The project will be the first installation of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel, and will provide insights into fuel savings and operational experience.

The rotor sails will be fitted during the first half of 2018, before undergoing testing and data analysis at sea until the end of 2019.

Maersk Tankers will supply a 109,647-deadweight tonne (DWT) Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel which will be retrofitted with two 30 metre tall by 5 metre diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails.

Combined, these are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%. T

The project is majority funded by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) with contributions from Maersk Tankers and Norsepower.

Shell will act as project coordinator, and provide operational and terminal / port consultancy to the project team, while Maersk Tankers will provide technical and operational insight.

Commenting on the partnership, Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said: “We are privileged and excited to be collaborating with Maersk Tankers, Shell, and the ETI on this project.

“We are optimistic that support for this trial from these industry leading organisations will open up the market for our technology to a larger number of long-range product tanker vessels – paving the way for ship fuel efficiencies, and ultimately reducing emissions, including greenhouse gases.

“As an abundant and free renewable energy, wind power has a role to play in supporting the shipping industry to reduce its fuel consumption and meet impending carbon reduction targets.”

Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer of Maersk Tankers, said: “Together with our partners, we have the opportunity to deploy an innovative technology that can improve fuel efficiency on our LR2 product tanker vessels and help to reduce their environmental impact.

“We look forward to contributing to the project, and sharing our decades of experience and knowledge within safety and tanker operations.”

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