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Marubeni signs up for Spanish suction sails

Japanese conglomerate Marubeni has set sights on wind-assisted propulsion in a new project that will see one of its bulk carriers fitted with four suction sails.

Singapore subsidiary MMSL has contracted Spain’s bound4blue to retrofit the 2016-built Crimson Kingdom in 2023 or 2024 in what is expected to be the largest suction sail setup ever and the first panamax bulker using this technology.

The 26-metre-high sails are expected to reduce the ship’s fuel costs and annual CO2 emissions by up to 20% on favorable trade routes while improving the vessel’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)  and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), bound4blue said.

“This agreement with Marubeni will enable us to scale up our technology to the next level, installing our 26-metre units on a bulk carrier for the first time and giving us the opportunity to partner with one of the most important international shipowners,” commented José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of bound4blue.

After the installation, the 84,800 dwt vessel will be operated by MaruKlav Management, a panamax pool company jointly owned by Marubeni and Torvald Klaveness.

Compatriot owner Mitsui OSK Lines has recently made headlines with its in-house developed Wind Challenger hard sail system. The company’s wind-assisted 100,400 dwt coal carrier Shofu Maru completed its maiden voyage from Japan to Australia and back last month with a sail operation rate maintained at around 70%.

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.
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