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Back to the future: Maersk LR2 product tanker to trial Flettner rotor sails

Back to the future: Maersk LR2 product tanker to trial Flettner rotor sails
A teaming of Maersk Tankers, Norsepower Oy, Shell Shipping & Maritime and The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has announced that it is to install and trial Flettner rotor sails – a technology invented back in the 1920s - on a Maersk LR2 tanker, the first use of wind-powered energy technology on a product tanker vessel.

Retrofitting of two 30 m tall by 5 m diameter Norsepower Rotor Sails on a 109,647 dwt vessel will take place during H1 2018, with test through until the end-2019. Average fuel savings of 7-10% are expected on normal routes, says the teaming.
The project is majority funded by the UK’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) with contributions from Maersk Tankers and Norsepower. Shell will act as project coordinator.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor – a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. When wind conditions are favourable, the main engines can be throttled back, providing a net fuel cost and emission savings,
Norsepower ceo Tuomas Riski said he hoped the trial would “open up the market for our technology to a larger number of long-range product tanker vessels – paving the way for ship fuel efficiencies, and ultimately reducing emissions, including greenhouse gases.”