bound4blue fits suction sails to Dutch cargo vessel

EEMS Traveller with wind suction propulsion installed

bound4blue has installed two eSAILs on Dutch flagged Eems Traveller, a general cargo vessel owned by Amasus.

The eSAIL system, categorised as a suction sail, is based on the use of a thick aerodynamic profile and smart suction to increase the propulsive efficiency, resulting in a system that produces seven times more lift than an airplane wing. At 17 meters high, they are believed to hold the record as the largest suction sail ever built and installed on a ship.

The company says that the sails represent a new and improved generation of the system installed on the La Naumon, delivering higher efficiency with the same size.

The installation was executed in two distinct phases. During a scheduled regular dry-dock of the vessel a year ago, the foundations for the eSAILs were manufactured and installed in The Netherlands. The ‘verticalisation’ manoeuvre and connection to the reinforcement of the sails was completed in less than four hours at the Port of Bilbao in June 2023.

In between these two phases, bound4blue has monitored the ship to obtain its baseline performance. That data will be used to assess the fuel and emission savings results in the next 12 months.

“In the same way that we need proven sustainable solutions to decarbonise the industry, we also need to implement them as fast and efficiently as possible,” says José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of bound4blue. “As evidence of this, we have utilised for the first time the port infrastructure to install our systems, demonstrating that shipowners don’t have to wait for the scheduled maintenance of the ship to start reaping the benefits of wind propulsion.”

In September 2022, the International Windship Association (IWSA) estimated that twenty-one large commercial vessels currently have wind propulsion systems installed onboard representing over one million DWT of cargo carrying capacity. In May 2023, De Tukker, the first ship operated by Dutch sustainable shipping company Ecoclipper, set sail on the firm’s maiden voyage — 111 years after it was constructed.

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