Louis Dreyfus Armateurs SAS (LDA) and Norsepower Oy Ltd, have announced that the Norsepower Rotor Sail technology will be installed on the new low-emission RoRo fleet to be chartered to Airbus, and the new Ro-Ro cargo vessels will be built by China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding.
he Ro-Ro vessels contract was signed on 2 January 2024. The project combines methanol-fuelled and wind-assisted propulsion systems with two methanol-fuelled main engines, two methanol-fuelled auxiliary engines, six Flettner rotating wind turbines and two sets of stabilising fins. It is also equipped with an energy efficiency management monitoring system and a gas emission monitoring system, which are designed to significantly reduce carbon emissions during the transport of Airbus aircraft components.
These innovative configurations provide powerful and environmentally friendly power in a wide range of conditions, significantly reducing fuel consumption and pollutant emissions, and significantly improving the efficiency and economics of ship propulsion transport.
The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a modernised version of the old Flettner rotor concept that uses electric power to actively rotate the cylinder-shaped rotors on the deck. These rotating sails use the wind to produce powerful thrust, reducing fuel consumption, lowering emissions and costs.
The new low-emission vessels, which will be used to ship aircraft components for Airbus, will each be powered by a combination of six 35-meter tall Norsepower Rotor Sails and two dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Additionally, routing software will optimise the vessels’ journey across the Atlantic, maximising wind propulsion and avoiding drag caused by adverse ocean conditions.
While the IMO has set challenging targets to bring shipping to net-zero, wind propulsion is considered as a viable element of the sustainable energy mix for seagoing ships. We are proud to be part on the energy transition through our partnership with Norsepower to offer innovative solutions and sustainably driving change.
..said Mathieu Muzeau, Transport and Logistic General Manager at Louis Dreyfus Armateurs.
By 2030, for the Transatlantic route, the new fleet will generate approximately 50% fewer CO2 emissions compared to 2023. The rotor sails will feature the brand new patented Norsepower Sentient Control™ (NPSCTM), a real-time force measurement, control and savings reporting system. This world-first tool enables each rotor to be controlled individually. This optimises efficiency by managing the complex aerodynamic interactions between the sails and the hydrodynamic behaviour of the vessel. Extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel tests have been carried out during the design phase to optimise the sail arrangement and design.