World’s first natural gas / wind electric propulsion hybrid ship
Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading provider of low-maintenance, software operated, and data verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, announced recently that it has signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the MV VIKING GRACE, which features natural gas as fuel.
The 57,565 GT MV VIKING GRACE operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is according to the companies own evaluation, one of the most environmentally-friendly RoPax ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel consumption and consequently fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by about 900 t annually; equivalent to cutting 300 t of natural gas fuel per year. Preparations for the retrofit are underway, with the installation scheduled to take place during Q2 of 2018. Viking Grace is set to be retrofitted with one medium-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail unit that is 24m in height and 4m in diameter, making it the first-ever global methane / wind electric propulsion hybrid ship.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution, which can be installed on new vessels or retrofitted on existing ships without off-hire costs, is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor; a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically – optimizing crew time and resource. Commenting on the technology, Ulf Hagström, Senior Vice President, Marine Operations & Newbuildings, Viking Line, said: “Our cruise vessel is the first to use a combination of alternative clean fuels, modern Rotor Sails, electric propulsion, and a hydrodynamically optimized hull. We believe in the Rotor Sail Solution technology’s ability to enhance our ship’s performance by enabling significant reductions in fuel consumption as well as CO2-emissions.”
Commenting on the deal, Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower said: “This project marks the first of its kind modern auxiliary wind propulsion technology installation onboard a RoPax- ferry. As a Finnish based clean technology and engineering company, we are proud to be partnering with yet another prominent shipping company as we work towards a modern era of auxiliary wind propulsion for the global maritime fleet, while supporting shipping’s transition to the low carbon economy.”To date, independent data analysis indicates that up to 20% fuel savings per year can be achieved on routes with favourable wind flows, sufficient sized Rotor Sails, and appropriate service speed. The technology has proven commercial applicability, with two small units of the companies Rotor Sails installed on board Bore’s M/S Estraden, a 9,700 DWT Ro-Ro carrier. Measured and independently verified by NAPA, the leading maritime data analysis, software and services provider, the Rotor Sail Solution delivered fuel consumption reductions of 6.1% for the MV ESTRADEN.