Biggest Suction Sails Ever Built Installed On Dutch Short-Sea Cargo Ship- Eems Traveler

Bound4blue, a company based in Spain developing automated wind-assisted propulsion systems, reported that it successfully installed the biggest fixed suction sails ever constructed and put them on a commercial vessel.

They are placed on an active short-sea cargo vessel, the Eems Traveler, a 23-year-old ship owned by Amasus Shipping of the Netherlands. It is 298 ft long, weighs 2,850 dwt, and can ship around 150,000 cubic feet of grains, containers, or large cargo. The contract for the sails was signed in March 2022.

Video Credits: bound4blue / YouTube

The system contains 2 next-gen suction sails installed 56 ft off the deck at the vessel’s stern. The sails utilise a thick aerodynamic profile and smart suction, which increases the propulsive efficiency, leading to a system that generates seven times more lift than the wing of an airplane.

The companies earlier predicted that the sails would decrease carbon emissions by up to 30% in viable conditions.

They also highlighted the ease of operation and installation of the sails. The first installation phase occurred in 2022 during a dry-docking in the Netherlands. During that phase, they constructed and put the foundations for the sails.

The sails were built and transported to Bibao Port, Spain, where they were put on the vessel this week, which took just 4 hours. The company said it was done smoothly and did not need a scheduled maintenance period.

The Ems Traveler is going to return to service. Over the next year, they will collect data on its performance and fuel use. Another company would compare the gathered data with the one from the past year to assess its performance, providing a 3rd party validation.

This system is an improvised version of the same technology on M/V La Nauman. This retired general cargo vessel now functions as an itinerant theatre ship hosting arts programming with an onboard laboratory.

In 2021, the company put a single rigid sail on this ship and reported that it had signed agreements with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs and Marubeni Corporation to install the systems on their vessels too.

References: Seatrade Maritime News

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