Alfa Laval and Wallenius move ahead on wind propulsion JV

Written by Nick Blenkey
Wind sails will be up to 80 meters tall

Wing sails will be up to 80 meters tall and will telescope to allow vessel to pass under bridges. [Credit: Alfa Laval/Wallenius]

Aiming to take the Oceanbird wind power solution to commercial reality, Alfa Laval and Wallenius have finalized their previously announced joint venture on the wing sail project for wind propulsion.

On November 22, Alfa Laval and Wallenius finalized the 50/50 joint venture that will take Oceanbird wind power solutions from cutting-edge marine concept to commercial reality. With Niclas Dahl as Managing Director, the partnership will make good on the promise of sustainable wind-assisted and wind propulsion.

Now formally named AlfaWall Oceanbird, the 50/50 joint venture will be headed up by Niclas Dahl as managing director.

Conceived by Wallenius, this innovative system for vessel propulsion uses wing sails that have more in common with modern planes than traditional sailing ships. Fully applied, it is claimed that it can reduce emissions by 90% on the largest ocean-going vessels.


“COP26 put the need for accessible technology in the spotlight,” says Dahl. “Decarbonizing shipping is imperative, and wind is a free source of power with a substantial role to play, and minimum need of infrastructure.”

Dahl was previously vice president of marine separation & heat transfer equipment at Alfa Laval, where his career includes several years of development and launch of the Alfa Laval PureBallast ballast water treatment solution, which was also created in partnership with Wallenius.

There is already momentum behind the Oceanbird team. Oceanbird was among the winners of the Wind Propulsion Innovation Awards 2021, which was organized by the International Windship Association (IWSA) to promote wind-powered shipping during COP26. Selected by jury as a finalist, Oceanbird carried the Wind Propulsion Products Award category in open voting with 40,000 participants.

“We’re proud of the recognition from our marine industry colleagues, which confirms that Oceanbird is on the right path,” says Dahl. “As the enthusiasm for wind propulsion grows, we’re moving rapidly to build on what we’ve achieved. Our next wing sail prototype is on the horizon, and we’re on target to have a transatlantic car carrier fully propelled by Oceanbird technology in 2025.”

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