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Two Norsepower Rotor Sails have been installed on board Maersk Pelican, a Maersk Tankers Long Range 2 (LR2) product tanker vessel.

The project is the first installation of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel. The sails, featuring 30 meters in height and five meters in diameter, were installed on the product tanker vessel in the port of Rotterdam. The installation was planned for the first half of this year, however, it was slightly delayed.

By using the Rotor Sails, the main engines can be throttled back when wind conditions are favorable, saving fuel and reducing emissions, while maintaining speed and voyage time, Norsepower explains.

The aim of the project is to test and analyse the technology while operating at sea as Maersk Tankers eyes fuel savings of up to 10 percent.

The selected 109,647 dwt product tanker, Maersk Pelican, is planned to test the technology throughout 2019. The first voyage with the Rotor Sails installed will commence shortly.

“This project is breaking ground in the product tanker industry. While the industry has gone through decades of technological development, the use of wind propulsion technology onboard a product tanker vessel could take us to a new playing field. This new technology has the potential to help the industry be more cost-competitive as it moves cargoes around the world for customers and to reduce the environmental impact,” said Tommy Thomassen, Chief Technical Officer, Maersk Tankers.

 Before getting installed the Rotor Sails have completed rigorous land testing, including thorough testing of various mechanical and performance criteria, and have been class approved for use on a product tanker vessel.

Now the data on the technology will be measured and evaluated to test its long-term financial and technical viability. Lloyd’s Register’s (LR’s) Ship Performance team has been selected to ensure an impartial assessment before technical and operational insights as well as performance studies are published.

“Auxiliary wind propulsion is one of the few fuel-saving technologies that is expected to offer double-digit percentage improvements. “The technology is projected to be particularly suitable for tankers and dry bulk carriers, and this test will assist in determining the further potential for Rotor Sails in the product tanker industry,” Andrew Scott, Programme Manager HDV marine and offshore renewable energy, ETI explained.

Aside to fuel consumption, Maersk Tankers intends to test the technology as it looks into the means of reducing the environmental impact of its LR2 tankers ahead of ever stricter environmental regulations.

The project is being implemented in cooperation between Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell Shipping & Maritime.

“We have great ambitions for our technology and its role in decarbonising the shipping industry. The installation of our largest ever Rotor Sails in partnership with these industry leading organisations shows that there is an appetite to apply new technologies,” Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, added.

 With the installation on the Maersk Pelican, there are now three vessels in daily commercial operation using Norsepower’s Rotor Sails.

These also include M/V Estraden, a Bore vessel offering a Ro-Ro and general cargo service between the UK and the Belgium, Viking Grace, a Viking Line cruise-ferry travelling between Finland and Sweden.

Source:        Image Courtesy: Maersk Tankers