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Regulatory compliance driving wind propulsion demand

Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Technologies Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Technologies
Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Technologies
Wind propulsion in various forms is starting to enjoy a significant level of uptake and rotor sail manufacturer Anemoi Marine Technologies believes it is regulatory compliance driving demand.

The technology behind rotor sails is over a century old but until recent years the abundant supply of cheap fuel oil, without major concerns over emissions, meant that the technology was not commercialised.

This though has changed with the focus on reducing emissions and a slew of environmental regulations aimed at improved efficiency and ultimately a goal of zero emissions shipping.

Kim Diederichsen, CEO of Anemoi Technologies, sees compliance with new regulations in particular CII, as well as EEXI and EEDI as the main driver being the take up of wind propulsion.

“So, staying in compliance, and protecting the asset value, this for the operators and owner is about staying in business,” Diederichsen told Seatrade Maritime News in an interview at Asia Pacific Maritime recently.

Clarkson Research estimated at the beginning of the year that some 30% of ships will be rated D or E under the CII framework and that about 45% of today’s tanker, bulk carrier, and container fleets, will be D or E rated if they are still trading in 2026 and have not modified speed or specification.   

Anemoi’s rotor sails have been primarily targeted at the bulk carrier sector as well as tankers as they have easily available deck space on which to fit the equipment.

Diederichsen explained that in some cases an owner will trial rotor sails by fitting two onboard a vessel, which will ensure it has a C rating or above for CII at present. However, they may also have prepared the vessel to install third or fourth rotors at later stage when emissions and efficiency regulations become tighter.

The second factor driving demand is fuel savings and ROI from installing wind propulsion. “It should be said savings are quite significant,” he stated.

Based on all ships, across all global trades, on an annual basis Anemoi says fuel savings range from 10 to 20%. “Then we have the outliers, where it's even more because the savings are directly linked to the installed numbers and size of rotor sales,” he said.

For vessels trading on fixed routes such as ore carriers on long term contracts savings are more predictable than for vessels on the tramp trades.

In terms of Anemoi’s present orderbook it is focused on the dry bulk trade and includes a wide range of vessel sizes from Handysize and Ultramaxes, through Kamsarmaxes and Newcastlemaxes, to the largest Very Large Ore Carriers. For future enquiries Diederichsen said the split is around 80% bulkers and 20% tankers.

AnemoiAnemoi rotor sails fitted on a bulker

Although by no means the only rotor sails supplier on the market Anemoi sees its key differentiator being that its equipment can be folded to the deck, and also fitted onto rails to move them along or across the vessel, so as to not interrupt cargo operations on bulk carriers.

The company is seeing a shift away in terms of demand for rotor sail installations being purely for retrofits. Diederichsen said that from a year ago they have moved from only having orders for retrofits to a split of around 60:40 between retrofits and newbuildings today. “So, it's moving into more and more newbuilds as we go along.”

Wind propulsion is also starting to be written into the specifications on tenders for newbuildings