Wind-Assisted Hybrid vessel starts operations in the North Sea

RINA has followed the design, approval, and supervision of the wind-assisted diesel-electric cargo vessel M/V Tharsis.

RINA has followed the design, approval, and supervision of this wind-assisted hybrid vessel. Particularly, the installation of two retractable wing sails on the diesel-electric cargo vessel M/V Tharsis


Tharsis Sea-River Shipping has concluded the installation of two retractable wing sails. Hence, their 88m, 2,364 dwt diesel-electric general cargo vessel, was built at the Neptune Shipyard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam. The work took place at the same time as the vessel was upgrading its air lubrication system.

RINA has followed the design approval and the supervision of the installation of the retractable wing sails. Specifically, the 3m x 9m TwinFoil units, supplied by Netherlands-based eConowind, are both comprising a specially designed aluminum Flatrack from which the folding TwinFoil’s are deployable. The TwinFoil is a further innovation for eConowind next to their previous designs. It is a wing with a flap principle similar to those used by aircraft during landing and take-off.

Designed and built at the Dutch Shipyard De Kaap in 2012. The M/V Tharsis is a unique vessel of this type with an innovative diesel-electric propulsion system. Moreover, along with the air lubrication system it already reduces the vessel’s carbon footprint. Meantime, the vessel has a 6m ballast air draft and a 1.65m minimal sailing draft. Thus, she is able to sail where most other seagoing ships can’t.

wind-assisted vessel
Figure. M/V Tharsis from Bridge.

With this installation operating in both river and the North Sea routing with varying winds we are eager to see how the rigs perform, especially with the unique combination of this self-adjusting technology in combination with a modern diesel-electric drive

Frank Nieuwenhuis, CEO of eConowind.

Tharsis Sea-River Shipping was one of the first companies to install a diesel-electric propulsion train on its general cargo vessel with the aim of fuel and emission reduction back in 2012. After installation of a hull air lubrication system in 2020 the installation of the Econowind Twinfoil system is a logical next step towards the companies aim of becoming zero emission

Jan Albert Bosma, co-owner of Tharsis Sea-River Shipping.

This project fits perfectly with the strong focus RINA has on innovative technologies that contribute to an environmentally friendlier shipping industry

Pino Spadafora, EMEA Marine Commercial Senior Director at RINA.
Nerd Thoughts

In the latest years, Wind-assisted propulsion is gaining attention in the recent period. Therefore, the maritime industry’s race for the best possible decarbonization solutions has raised intensity.
As you read, there are currently 30,000 ships in operation worldwide that could be equipped with wind-assisted ship propulsion technology. May projects like this and awarded AiPs from BV and DNV encourage ship operators to favor wind-assisted propulsion.

Source: RINA