Sunday 18th Nov, 2018

‘Rotor Sails’ installed upon Pelican


REDUCING both fuel costs and emissions is behind a decision to install two 30-metre rotating sails on board product tanker Maersk Pelican.

According to a Maersk statement, the targeted reduction in fuel costs and associated emissions is around 7-10%.


The ‘Rotor Sails’, a product from Norsepower, are described as large, cylindrical mechanical sails that spin to create a pressure differential – called the Magnus effect – propelling the vessel forward.

They are said to provide auxiliary wind propulsion to the vessel, optimising fuel efficiency.

At around 30metres tall by five metres in diameter, the sails are said to be among the largest of their type in the world and were installed at Rotterdam.

“This project is breaking ground in the product tanker industry,” said Maersk Tankers chief technical officer Tommy Thomassen.

“While the industry has gone through decades of technological development, the use of wind propulsion technology onboard a product tanker vessel could take us to a new playing field.

“This new technology has the potential to help the industry be more cost-competitive as it moves cargoes around the world for customers and to reduce the environmental impact.”


HDV program manager Andrew Scott said the project was commissioned to demonstrate the untapped potential of rotor sails.

“Auxiliary wind propulsion is one of the few fuel-saving technologies that is expected to offer double-digit percentage improvements,” Mr Scott said.

“The technology is projected to be particularly suitable for tankers and dry bulk carriers, and this test will assist in determining the further potential for Rotor Sails in the product tanker industry.”

Norsepower chief executive Tuomas Riski said they had great ambitions in using technology to decarbonise the shipping industry.

“The installation of our largest ever rotor sails in partnership with these industry leading organisations shows that there is an appetite to apply new technologies,” Mr Riski said.

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