Wind-assisted boxship project makes headway

A new LNG-powered 2,500 teu boxship design featuring wind-assisted propulsion has been granted an approval in principle by the Paris-headquartered class society Bureau Veritas.

The 197 m long vessel, dubbed Trade Wings 2,500, has been designed by French firms VPLP Design, Alwena Shipping and AYRO and Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI).

It fosters six partially retractable Oceanwings installed on a vertical sliding mechanism which minimises the impact on cargo operations while the vessel is in port, BV explained. The LNG engine is designed with pure gas four-stroke gensets offering possible upgrade to fuels such as ammonia or hydrogen.

Alex Gregg-Smith, senior VP Bureau Veritas North Asia, commented: “Wind-assisted propulsion is a high-potential solution that can contribute to the long-term decarbonisation of the marine industry. We have just released new wind propulsion system rules – and this innovative design, approved in principle by BV, including a sliding mechanism, demonstrates the feasibility of wind-assisted propulsion on board container ships with deck space limitations.

The vessel will save on average 35% CO2-equivalent emissions compared to a conventional design

“Benefitting from a coverless hatch and LNG electric pod propulsion, the design provides both operational flexibility, improved efficiency and reduced carbon emissions, complying with, or exceeding, regulatory requirements.”

BV said that on a typical transatlantic route of 4,000 nautical miles, the vessel will save on average 35% CO2-equivalent emissions compared to a conventional design, with a two-stroke engine, single shaft and without wing-sails, at the same speed.

Earlier in April this year, Zéphyr & Borée, a young French company specialising in carbon-free transport, unveiled it was working to develop the world’s first sailing containership equipped with eight wing-sails.

With project Meltem, the Nantes-based company is developing a 1,830 teu boxship said to be able to reduce carbon footprint by 80% on a transatlantic journey at a speed of 11 knots.

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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