Maersk Tankers’ Ship to Test Wind Propulsion Equipment

Maersk Tankers, tanker arm of the Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk, has partnered up with Norsepower Oy, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), and Shell Shipping & Maritime, to install and trial Flettner rotor sails onboard one of the company’s tankers.

Maersk Tankers will supply a 109,647-dwt Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel which will be retrofitted with two 30-meter tall by 5-meter diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails. Combined, these are expected to reduce average fuel consumption on typical global shipping routes by 7-10%.

“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 parties said. 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.

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.

“Flettner rotors have the potential to reduce ship fuel consumption substantially, especially on tankers and dry bulk carriers. It is one of the few fuel saving technologies that could offer double digit percentage improvements,” Andrew Scott, Programme Manager HDV marine and offshore renewable energy, The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), said.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship.

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