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World first chemical tanker with wind-assisted propulsion


Netherlands-based Chemship has completed what it describes as the world’s first installation of wind-assisted propulsion on a chemical tanker. The event took place on February 19 at the Port of Rotterdam.

Four 16-meter (53-foot) aluminum wind sails have been installed aboard the 16,000 DWT Chemical Challenger which will operate on Chemship’s trans-Atlantic route between the U.S. East Coast and the Mediterranean.

“With the VentoFoils, we will use less fuel and thus reduce CO2 emissions,” says Niels Grotz, CEO of Chemship. “For this vessel, we anticipate an annual CO2 reduction of 850 tonnes. This is equivalent to the yearly CO2 emissions of over 500 passenger cars.”

Chemship anticipates an average CO2 reduction of 10 percent with the turbo sails. The company said it chose the technology because it is lightweight and can be retrofitted to existing ships. 

“These wind sails were easy to install without adding reinforcements to the ship. They are lightweight, have a small deck ‘footprint,’ and do not obstruct the crew’s line of sight. At the push of a button, they can fold or set the sails as needed. Above wind force seven, the sails fold automatically, which is much safer,” said Michael Marelis, Operations Director for Chemship.

It will be part of a broader effort within the company to reduce emissions. They are also responding to the increased regulation including the January 1 introduction of the EU program which requires shipowners to pay for their emissions/

“Our customers increasingly demand CO2 reports,” said Mr. Grotz. “The better our ships perform, the higher the rating from our customers. Fewer emissions are not only beneficial for the environment, but you will also notice it directly in your wallet.”

(Photo from Chemship)