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LNG fueled cruise ferry to add a Rotor Sail

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 25, 2017 — Rotor sail specialist Norsepower Oy Ltd. reports that it has signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line that will see its 57,565 grt LNG-fueled cruise ferry M/S Viking Grace retrofitted with one medium-sized Norsepower Rotor Sail.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program

Delivered by Finland’s Turku shipyard in 2013, Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the world.

Norsepower says the rotor sail retrofit will see the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by circa 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to saving 300 tonnes of LNG fuel annually.

Preparations for the retrofit are underway, with the installation scheduled to take place during the second quarter of next year when a 24 m high, 4 m diameter rotor sail will be installed, making Viking Grace the first-ever LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail Solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor; a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically.

Norsepower says that, to date, independent data analysis indicates that up to 20% fuel savings per year can be achieved on routes with favorable wind flows, sufficient sized Rotor Sails, and appropriate service speed.

Commenting on the technology, Ulf Hagström, Senior Vice President, Marine Operations & Newbuildings, Viking Line, said: “Our cruise vessel is the first to use a combination of alternative clean fuels, modern Rotor Sails, electric propulsion, and a hydrodynamically optimized hull. We believe in the Rotor Sail solution technology’s ability to enhance our ship’s performance by enabling significant reductions in fuel burn and costs, as well as carbon emissions.”

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