Car carrier giant plans to build wind-powered PCTC

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Orcelle Wind could set sail by 2025 [Image: EWallenius Wilhelmsen]

Oslo-headquartered Wallenius Wilhelmsen is planning to build the world’s first full-size wind-powered pure car and truck carrier.

To be called Orcelle Wind, the 220- by 40-meter ship will have the capacity to carry 7,000 vehicles at speeds of 10-12 knots under sail—a speed that can be increased with the help of an onboard supplemental power system. In addition to cars, the wind-powered vessel will also be able to transport heavy machinery and breakbulk products.

“Since 2008, we have been able to reduce CO2 intensity by 33%, which is a significant step. But the journey towards zero emissions requires great strides forward,” says Craig Jasienski, CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen. “We believe Orcelle Wind is one of them.”

Once completed, “Orcelle Wind will be our technical and operational testbed for zero emission innovation, where we can assess and develop various zero-emission fuels and technology,” says Erik Noeklebye, EVP and COO of shipping services at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Plans are in place to have a design ready for contracting with a shipyard by mid-2022, with the finished vessel expected to set sail by 2025, subject to a comprehensive viability evaluation.

To pass muster, Orcelle Wind must satisfy regulatory standards relating to safety and technical performance. Operational needs must also be meet, such as suitability for deployment on multiple global trade lanes and the ability to maneuver in port in bad weather.

“It will take the dedicated collaboration of our world-class customers, partners and employees to make such a bold initiative as Orcelle Wind succeed,” says Jasienski. “More than just evaluating the concept, we are committed to making this a success.”

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