Announced on Thursday at Nor-Shipping, Japanese shipping giant Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has decided to install a giant kite system onto one of its capesizes.
The Seawing automated system, developed by Airseas, a company recently spun off from aviation major Airbus, will be mounted on the bow of one of K Line’s bulkers. After two years of studying the technology, K Line said yesterday Seawing has the potential to reduce emissions on its ship by more than 20%, shaving off 5,200 tons of CO2 annually. If all goes well with this first ship, K Line has said it will purchase another 50 systems from Airseas.
A simple switch on the bridge launches or recovers the kite which unfolds, operates and refolds autonomously. The system collects and analyses meteorological and oceanic data in real-time to optimise performance.
It has turned out to be a banner week for supporters of wind propulsion at Nor-Shipping with two Korean major yards, Samsung Heavy and Hyundai Heavy, debuting rotor sail VLCC designs.
“We are delighted to welcome the news of the K Line order for Airseas kite technology, another clear market message that wind propulsion is a credible, viable and increasingly economic solution for shipowners today,” Gavin Allwright, secretary general of the International Windship Association, told Splash today.