05 December 2023
French shipping company Marfret has fitted one of its ships with 21-century aluminum sails. EConowind the Dutch wind propulsion solutions will provide the energy-saving units. The wind propulsion retrofit is easily transitted and adjusted.
The force of the wind is a clean, free and infinite source of energy. Using it for assistance was the subject of a months-long study. Therefore, Marfret equipped the 5,300DWT roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel Marfret Niolon with four wing-shaped sails. Specifically, the eConowind units will provide fuel savings of between 10 and 15%, according to expectations. The project will hold part of Marfret’s commitment to the energy transition.
The eConowind unit sits on a 40 ft sea container and can quickly set up and removed.
In this regard, containerization allows for adaptability as the solution can easily transit from one ship to another. Hence, suiting the needs of shipping lines.
Marfret intends to extend the system to its entire RoRo fleet. Thus, combining it with coupled reversible alternators, providing hybrid wind and electric power.
“We firmly believe in the future of containerisation and energy and that’s what led us to opt for the technology developed by the Dutch firm eConowind. All the ingenuity of the container, the foundation in many ways of our business, has here been applied to a system to assist the ship’s propulsion,”Guillaume Vidil, General Manager at Marfret
Inside, the control system and hydraulics deploy the sails and retract them when entering the port. The quartermaster on the bridge decides when to raise or lower the sails. Always depending on the weather conditions encountered during the voyage.
“Committed to making our energy transition happen and to develop our position as a company apart from the rest,”Guillaume Vidil, General Manager at Marfret
As the world begins to grasp the challenges laid down by global warming, the French shipping company said it intends to play its part in the collective effort.