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China rolls out its first VLCC with four rigid wing sails

China Merchants Energy Shipping and China Shipbuilding Trading Company have taken delivery of the first ever very large crude carrier (VLCC) built in China featuring four 40 m rigid wing sails.

The 307,000 dwt vessel built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC) has been named New Aden, and according to the China Classification Society (CCS) it is one of the most advanced VLCCs ever built in China.

The ship sports two pairs of carbon fibre composite rigid wing sails that use airflow to change the flow field on the surface of a specific device, thereby generating propulsion using aerodynamic principles.
The sails have a combined surface of around 1200 sq m and are expected to reduce average fuel consumption by nearly 10% on the Middle East to the Far East route, cutting an estimated 2,900 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. The vessel is also said to come with the latest SOx and NOx technologies to reduce emissions, meeting the EEDI and EEXI requirements.

“The New Aden is an outstanding vessel which embraces the very latest design techniques as we work towards meeting the IMO GHG targets,” said CCS vice president Fan Qiang, adding: “China Merchants, Dalian Shipbuilding’s R&D team and Guangwei Composite Materials have undertaken great work in developing the ship and this new generation of rigid wing sail.” 

The new vessel builds on China Merchants’ test run with DSIC in 2018 when two rigid sails were fitted on a VLCC New Vitality.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. Having seen the photo my concern is how the visibility of the side lights is affected, surely a surveyor must have picked that up? Any chance of finding out?

    1. The side lights are mounted forward to the white framed mast forward of the helicopter landing area, right at the ships side.

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