JAPANESE shipping company K Line has announced it is to install an automated kite system or ‘Seawing’ on one of its bulkers.

The Seawing has been developed by AIRSEAS, a spin-off from AIRBUS SE, a major aircraft manufacturer.

According to K Line, the Seawing is to be mounted on the bow of the vessel and will be unfolded by a simple operation from the bridge.

K Line manager of advanced technology, Harunobu Akiyama, told DCN a route for the deployment was still to be decided, as was the size of ship on which it was to be deployed.


With the right wind power and direction, the system is expected to provide additional wind power propulsion.

According to K Line, intense assessment of the technology had been ongoing during the past two years, in close cooperation with AIRSEAS.

It is expected the bulker will be able to reduce emissions by more than 20% in some cases, or about 5200 tonnes of CO2 annually.

“We and AIRSEAS cooperate on further improvement of their solution by utilising the operation and performance data obtained from the ship operation and performance management system Kawasaki Integrated Maritime Solutions installed in our fleet vessels,” the K Line statement read.

K Line says it will continue to work to achieve its environmental vision and to cut greenhouse gas emissions in line with the expectations of the IMO.