Photomontage of trawler after SkySails installation
October 6, 2009
Fishing trawler to get SkySails system
Germany's largest fishing trawler is to be fitted with a SkySails towing kite.
Diederik Parlevliet, CEO of Parlevliet & Van der Plas B.V., one Europe's largest fishing companies and Stephan Wrage, Managing Director of Hamburg-based SkySails, signed a purchase agreement today for what will be the world's first towing-kite wind propulsion system to be installed on a fishing trawler.
SkySails propulsion is scheduled to be placed in operation early next year aboard the ROS-171 "Maartje Theadora" fishing trawler.
At 141 meters in length, the "Maartje Theadora" is Germany's largest fishing vessel and is operated by the Sassnitz-based Westbank Hochseefischerei GmbH, a member of the Parlevliet & Van der Plas Group. The ship has two MaK main engines that produce a total of 8,640 kW of power. The vessel will be fitted with a 160 sq.m SkySails propulsion system like those already in use on cargo ships.
Parlevliet & Van der Plas and SkySails will be evaluating whether the wind propulsion system needs to be modified for use on fishing vessels as part of a pilot project funded by the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) and the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
"We are looking for-ward to significant fuel savings by using the SkySails-System, particularly during those extended transfer runs to the African coast and in the South Pacific, not to mention the potential savings during actual fishing operations," says Diederik Parlevliet, "while at the same time enabling us to reduce enormous amounts of CO2 emissions and make a big contribution to safeguarding the clim
SkySails propulsion underwent pilot testing for a year and a half aboard the cargo ships "Beluga SkySails" owned by the Beluga Group and the "Michael A." from the Wessels Shipping Company. Not only did the testing confirm the viability of this towing-kite propulsion concept on board, says SkySails, but the measurements of the tractive force generated make the SkySails-System the most capable and effective wind propulsion system in the world. Thanks to its unprecedented physical properties, the system produces between 5 and 25 times more power per square meter than conventional sail propulsion. Even a 160 sq.m SkySails generates a tractive force of 8 metric tons, which is comparable to the thrust of an Airbus A318 engine.
SkySails is currently fitting its system onto a series of three new cargo ships belonging to the Wessels Shipping Company of Haren an der Ems. Two months ago the "Theseus" became the first ship in this series to enter service with the SkySails. Meanwhile, SkySails is working full steam to expand production in order to be able to produce larger quantities of the system starting at the beginning of next year. SkySails and the venerable Zeppelin Group established a joint venture called "Zeppelin SkySails Sales & Service" at the beginning of 2009, which began operations in March and handles the worldwide sales and service of SkySails propulsion. All SkySails-Systems can be maintained and rapidly supplied with replacement parts across the globe using the existing service network of marine engine supplier Zeppelin Power Systems.