bound4blue completes first suction sails installation on ro-ro vessel

by | 7th March 2024 | Commercial Shipping, Technology

Home News bound4blue completes first suction sails installation on ro-ro vessel

Ro-ro Ville de Bordeaux is now equipped with eSAILs

In a new move toward sustainable maritime transportation, bound4blue, one of several companies working on wind-assisted propulsion systems, has achieved another landmark by installing the first-ever fixed suction sails on a Roll-on/Roll-off (ro-ro) vessel. The project took place aboard the Ville de Bordeaux, a vessel chartered by Airbus from French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA). 

The fitting of the three 22-metre-high eSAILs represents a significant advancement in the field of maritime technology. Following the base installation of the eSAILs foundations in Poland in November 2023, the Ville de Bordeaux underwent a brief stopover in a shipyard in Vigo, Spain where the sails installed over two days. 

Ville de Bordeaux, first launched in 2004, primarily serves to ferry crucial A320 Family components from Europe to Airbus’ factory in Mobile, Alabama, for final assembly. The quick installation process enabled the vessel to embark on its next voyage to Mobile with the eSAILs equipped on 3 March. 

The installation of suction sails on an Airbus chartered vessel is in line with the company’s commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions from maritime logistics operations by 50% by 2030, relative to a 2015 baseline. In addition, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs sees wind-assisted propulsion as a pivotal element in realising its own ambitious objective of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Mathieu Muzeau, Transport & Logistic General Manager at LDA, expressed satisfaction at the smooth completion of the Ville de Bordeaux’s retrofit. “The Ville de Bordeaux installation propels us closer to that monumental goal. The sails are not only a testament to innovation but also a beacon of hope for sustainable maritime transportation.” 

“This milestone marks our fourth ship project and the pioneering installation of a fixed suction sail on a ro-ro vessel. It is a testament to the adaptability and efficiency of wind-assisted propulsion systems, offering a promising pathway toward a greener maritime industry,” says David Ferrer, Chief Technology Officer of bound4blue, emphasising the significance of the retrofit. 

Wind-assisted propulsion technology has garnered increasing attention in recent years as the maritime industry intensifies its pursuit of eco-friendly solutions to mitigate environmental impact. Wind-powered ships can integrate the idea of traditional sails with cutting-edge technology to harness wind energy, augmenting conventional propulsion systems on-board. This offers substantial fuel savings, reduced operational costs, and tangible environmental benefits, thus making them attractive options for owners and operators aiming to boost their green credentials.  

According to the company each of bound4blue’s eSAILs generate six to seven times more lift than conventional sails, owing to an electric-powered air suction system that optimises airflow adherence. This revolutionary innovation significantly alleviates the burden on the ship’s main engines, translating into substantial fuel savings and a remarkable reduction in emissions. 

In addition to the Ville de Bordeaux project, bound4blue has made agreements with several forward-thinking shipowners for similar installations. These partnerships encompass projects with global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), Odfjell of Norway, Eastern Pacific Shipping of Singapore, Marubeni Corporation, and SNA THUA’A PAE (SNA) of Tahiti. These collaborations illustrate the burgeoning adoption of wind-assisted propulsion technology across the maritime sector. 

Related Posts