Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Vale International have announced a partnership to retrofit a 200,000-ton capesize bulk carrier with two 35-meter x 5-meter rotor sails, produced by Norsepower. The identity of the vessel has not been disclosed by is currently employed under a mid-term contract for transportation of iron ore for Vale.
The installation of the rotor sails is expected to take place in the first half of 2024. Rotor sails are a modernized version of the Flettner rotor and utilize the magnus effect to generate forward thrust, thereby reducing overall fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Norsepower Rotor Sails sails are made of lightweight and strong composite material and are equipped with a fully automated control system that produces thrust as the wind generates differential pressure around the slewing rotor while the vessel is sailing.
The installation of the two rotor sails are expected to reduce fuel and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 6 to 10%, combined with voyage optimization technology. This will enable significant advancements towards decarbonization goals and reduce fuel consumption.
Norsepower has already installed its version of the rotor sails on a number of of ships, including a newbuild Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) chartered to Vale with four Rotor Sails installed.
MOL and Vale said they are both committed to the stable transportation of iron ore and the reduction of GHG emissions. The partnership represents an important step towards achieving sustainable shipping and combating climate change.