Information about wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP)

Hello Queseanians,

Do you have any experience about wind-assisted ship propulsion (WASP)? Specifically, can wind assisted ship propulsion technologies help in emissions reduction?

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Hello @ZhengYiSao,

Wind propulsion technologies can be categorized into six types: rotor sails, hard sails, suction wings, kites, soft sails, and hull technology. The following overview outlines companies currently involved in providing or developing wind propulsion systems, along with the count of ships equipped with such systems. It’s worth noting that due to the dynamic nature of the market, this overview may not encompass all relevant developments.

As of mid-2023, Wind-Assisted Propulsion Systems (WAPSs) have been successfully installed on 30 ships, with plans for installation on an additional 26 ships either underway or in progress.

Among these, 16 ships are new builds, while 38 are undergoing retrofitting. For two ships, it remains unclear whether a kite is intended for new builds or existing vessels. To delve into specifics:

  • Rotor sails have been retrofitted on ten ships (including bulk carriers, general cargo ships, Ro-Ro ships, ferries, and a tanker). Two newly built ships—a Ro-Ro/Lo-Lo and a VLOC tanker—have also been equipped with rotor sails. Notably, one bulk carrier is labeled as ‘wind ready,’ awaiting the installation of the rotor sail. Furthermore, more retrofit projects (three bulk carriers, two tankers, one Ro-Ro ship, and one combination carrier) and new builds (three gas carriers, one bulk carrier) involving rotor sails are currently in the pipeline. A vessel was retrofitted in 2017 to be ‘wind ready.’
  • Suction wings have been retrofitted on eight ships (including a fishing vessel, four general cargo ships, one Ro-Ro vessel, and one cement carrier), with one being part of a pilot project on a ship repurposed as a theater. An additional five ships are undergoing or scheduled for retrofitting with suction wings (including one bulk carrier, one chemical tanker, one container feeder, and two general cargo ships).
  • Hard sails have been implemented on seven vessels, including one retrofit as part of a pilot project on a catamaran, two retrofits on bulk carriers, and four new builds (including two VLCCs, one bulk carrier, and a pilot project for a passenger/car ferry). Six more ships are slated for hard sail installation: one retrofit as part of a pilot (Ro-Ro ship) and five applications on new builds (including one bulk carrier), two pilot projects (cargo ships), and two with signed letters of intent (cruise/large yard).
  • One kite has been installed on a Ro-Ro ship as part of a pilot project, and another has been retrofitted on a bulk carrier. Additionally, four more applications for kites on bulk carriers have been announced.

Report - potential of wind-assisted propulsion for shipping.pdf (4.8 MB)