NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
official media partner of national maritime foundation
MOL to retrofit rotor sails to Vale-chartered bulker
By Sea and Coast | 09/03/2023
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, have agreed to retrofit two rotor sails to a large dry bulk carrier currently under contract for the transportation of iron ore. The installation will be completed by the first half of 2024 and will feature two Flettner-style rotors, each standing nearly 115 feet with a diameter of approximately 16.4 feet, built by Norsepower. The rotors will be made of lightweight and strong composite material and will employ a fully automated control system. Together with voyage optimization technology, the system is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 6 to 10 percent and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
This project marks MOL and Vale's effort to explore the use of wind propulsion systems employing rotor sails on large bulk carriers. The joint study was launched more than a year ago to determine the size and number of rotors to be used and verify the expected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative is part of the industry's efforts to expand the use of wind-assisted propulsion technology in the shipping sector.
Several other bulk carrier operators have also been participating in studies exploring the use of rotors on their vessels. Berge Bulk, a Singapore-based dry bulk owner, has announced plans to install rotors on two of its large bulkers, in addition to testing a wind wing on another vessel. Tufton Investment Management’s TR Lady Shipping company has also announced plans to retrofit wind-assisted propulsion to one of its vessels. Oldendorff Carriers, in a project involving LR, has received design approval for six large rotors to be fitted to a 210,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carrier. The technology is also being tested on tankers, Ro-Ros, and large ferries.
The shipping industry is embracing clean energy initiatives and exploring alternative propulsion systems to reduce emissions, and the use of wind-assisted propulsion technology is gaining popularity. The installation of rotor sails on large bulk carriers presents a promising opportunity for the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet environmental sustainability goals.