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World’s largest short-sea RO/RO fitted with rotor sails
Dr.G.R.Balakrishnan Feb 25 2023 Shipping News

World’s largest short-sea RO/RO fitted with rotor sails

Luxembourg-headquartered logistics specialist CLdN reports that its RO/RO vessel the M/V Delphine has now been successfully fitted with a rotor sails wind propulsion system will return to service from Zeebrugge, Belgium, as from February 27.

Plans to fit the 2018-built vessel with two 35 meters tall by 5 meters diameter Norsepower tilting rotor sails were announced in March last year.

With a cargo capacity of over 8,000 lane meters and operating between the U.K., Ireland and mainland Europe, Delphine is said to be the world’s largest short-sea RO/RO. She is already one of the most fuel-efficient ships in that category, emitting only 28 grammes of CO2 per tonne of cargo shipped per kilometer traveled. With the rotor sails deployed, the ship will emit even less greenhouse gas going forward, with an expected emissions reduction of up to 10%.

The rotor sails, which use the Magnus effect to harness wind power to add forward thrust to a ship, are fully automated and detect whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel and emission savings, at which point the sails start automatically. They are also tiltable, allowing the vessel to pass under bridges and maintaining operational flexibility.

CLdN will work with the Maritime Technology Division at Ghent University to study the performance of the sails on the Delphine in the coming months.

Gary Walker, Chief Operating Officer, CLdN RoRo, commented: “CLdN is the top performer amongst its RO/RO shipping peers in Northwest Europe, producing the lowest CO2 emissions per tonne of freight carried with its fleet of modern ships”

· While the Magnus effect was first used for a rotor sail on a ship called the Buckau, built for Anton Flettner at the Friedrich Krupp Germania shipyard in 1924, you can see it at work at almost any sporting event involving a ball. Notably, it’s the secret behind the curve ball in baseball.