Airseas, the French tech pioneer founded by former Airbus engineers, has won orders for three more of its Seawings systems from Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” Line). This will bring to five the number of “K” Line ships using the Airseas wind propulsion technology to reduce their emissions.
Under the agreement, the third, fourth and fifth Seawing systems delivered to “K” Line will be installed on post panamax bulkers. The two initial installations, on capesize bulkers, will see the first 210,000 dwt vessel fitted with the system in December of this year, to be followed by an installation on a newbuild LNG-fueled vessel currently being built at Nihon Shipyard.
The Seawing systems that will be installed on the “K” Line vessels consist of parafoils that fly around 300 meters above the sea level, harnessing the power of the wind to propel the vessel and reduce the main engine load, aiming to save an average of 20% fuel and emissions.
The systems will use digital twins and advanced automation systems, drawing on aerospace expertise, to ensure that the Seawing systems can be safely deployed, operated and stored at the push of a button with minimal input needed from crew. In addition, Airseas and “K” Line have signed a technological cooperation partnership to integrate Seawing and “K” Line’s vessel data platform, Kawasaki Integrated Maritime Solutions, to maximize the performance of the systems.
“We have adopted an ambitious net-zero GHG emissions target by 2050 and deploying technologies such as wind propulsion is a key component of our strategy.” said Michitomo Iwashita, managing executive officer at “K” Line. “We are proud to be partnering with Airseas, a leader in the wind propulsion field, that has done so much to bring the technology into the next generation via the development of Seawing. We look forward to seeing it deployed on our fleets in the coming years.”
Vincent Bernatets, co-founder and CEO of Airseas, commented: “We are proud that “K” Line has selected us as a long-term partner in their journey towards a lower carbon future, and we are delighted to see our partnership going one step further with these new orders and additional technical cooperation activities announced today. A true market leader, “K” Line recognizes that ships being built now will need to meet the decarbonization standards of the 2040s and 2050s, as regulators and customers step up pressure for the industry to decarbonize. Wind propulsion systems like the Seawing help lay the long-term foundations for the sustainable shipping of the future by reducing emissions right now, in addition to delivering a strong return on investment in the short term via fuel savings.”