Wind-Powered Robot Sails To Be Installed In The World’s Largest Ore Carrier Valemax

Vale and Omani shipowner Asyad have agreed on wind-assisted propulsion technology to be installed on the world’s largest ore carrier, a 400,000 dwt Valemax.

They will specifically install five Rotor Sails made by Anemoi Marine Technologies on the ship.

Image Credit: Vale

With a diameter of 5 meters and a height of 35 meters each, these cylindrical sails will capture wind energy to increase the ship’s forward thrust and energy efficiency.

The project, scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2024, is expected to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by up to 3,000 tons annually and fuel consumption by about 6%.

Most of the deep-sea routes that Vale’s Valemax fleet travels are between Brazil, China, and the Middle East, making them ideal for wind power.

Rodrigo Bermelho, the Shipping Technical Manager at Vale, emphasises wind energy’s role in reducing the carbon footprint associated with shipping iron ore.

Anemoi’s COO, Nick Contopoulos, expressed excitement about the collaboration between Asyad and Vale and emphasised the importance of wind-assisted propulsion to Vale’s decarbonisation initiatives, which aim to improve energy efficiency and lower emissions.

To produce and deliver Rotor Sails, Anemoi has built a robust supply chain in China through collaborations with CSSC Chengxi, Lianyungang Zhongfu Lianzhong Composite Material Group, CRRC Corporation, and SaierNico Electric & Automation.

In cooperation with SDARI and Lloyd Register, they will also offer technical services, vessel integration design, project management, and post-delivery support for equipment design approval and classification.

In June 2023, a Kamsarmax bulk carrier with Rotor Sails was retrofitted successfully, exhibiting over 10% annual fuel savings. This project is the result of that retrofit.

Reference- Vale, Hellenic Shipping

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