Inflatable sails to star on new Michelin vessel

French tire manufacturer Michelin has rolled out a new solution designed to boost the decarbonisation of shipping.

The Wing Sail Mobility (WISAMO) project is an automated, telescopic, inflatable wing sail system that can be fitted on both merchant ships and pleasure crafts. The system is the product of a collaborative venture between Michelin and two Swiss inventors.

The inflatable wing sail design enables a ship to reduce its fuel consumption by up to 20% depending on the type of vessel, its route or prevailing weather conditions, Michelin claims.

According to Michelin, these wing sails are specially suitable for roro ships, bulk carriers and oil and gas tankers, and can be fitted as original equipment on newbuilds or retrofitted on in-service vessels.

The WISAMO system will first be fitted on a merchant ship in 2022, when Michelin expects it to go into production following completion of the trial phase.

Michelin is also taking action to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. In addition to this commitment, the company has signed a deal with French start-up Neoline to transport 50% of its tires on a pilot line from Halifax in Canada to Saint-Nazaire in France by 2023.

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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