EU funds will support the wind-powered ro-ro ship project

2023/01/18 at 2:04 PM

The Norwegian company Wallenius Wilhelmsen and its partners will receive a grant of nearly EUR 9 million from the Horizon Europe program for research and development work on the world’s first ro-ro ship with a wind drive supporting a classic internal combustion engine. The construction of the ship according to the new concept is to start next year.

The idea of returning to wind propulsion in commercial ships is one of the ideas to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions in shipping. For several years, research has been carried out on new projects to support ship propulsion with sails.

Another interesting project “Orcelle Wind” is the construction of the world’s first ro-ro ship with wind-assisted propulsion. A team of 11 companies coordinated by the Norwegian logistics operator Wallenius Wilhelmsen will work on the project. As part of the grant from EU funds, work will be financed not only on the design of a new vessel equipped with sails, but also research on the development of routes adapted to weather conditions and the preparation of logistics chains for new ship propulsion concepts.

Orcelle Wind will be a 220 m long car carrier capable of transporting 7,000 ships. The design of the unit is based on the Oceanbird concept. Wind will be the main source of propulsion, and the use of Flettner rotors and other innovative solutions will allow to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.

“The Oceanbird concept was developed through a partnership approach. We have seen the strength of gathering people from different sectors and companies to cover all perspectives. By working together, we will bring the Orcelle Wind project to life – and by that – take a huge step towards truly sustainable shipping,” says Niclas Dahl, Managing Director at Oceanbird.

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