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Dreyfus-RoRo now under sail

The ro-ro freighter “Ville de Bordeaux”, owned by French shipping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, will now sail with wind assistance.

Following the installation of the foundations for the sails supplied by Spanish company Bound4blue in Poland in November 2023, the 5,200 GT “Ville de Bordeaux” (built in 2004) made a brief stopover at a shipyard in Vigo, Spain. Three 22-meter-high so-called eSails were installed here. [ds_preview]

The quick installation process required only minimal downtime for the ship. According to Boud4blue, the erection and installation of the foundations took less than two days. Each eSail reportedly generates six to seven times more lift than a conventional sail thanks to an electrically powered air intake system that optimizes the airflow over the airfoil of the “suction sail” and enables steeper angles of attack.

The “Ville de Bordeaux” is chartered to Airbus by the French shipping company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and is used to transport components of the A320 family from Europe to final assembly at the aircraft manufacturer’s US plant in Mobile, Alabama. Airbus aims to halve CO2 emissions from maritime logistics operations by 2030 compared to 2015.

For the French shipping company, wind-assisted propulsion is an important decarbonization solution to help the company achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “The installation of the Ville de Bordeaux brings us one step closer to this goal. The sails look fantastic and we are looking forward to seeing them in action. Together with our customer Airbus, we are proud to be among the pioneers in this field,” said Mathieu Muzeau, General Manager Transport & Logistics at LDA.

Sails on Dreyfus-RoRo prove suitability for ship type

David Ferrer, CTO of bound4blue, added: “This installation is our fourth ship project and the first with a fixed suction sail on a RoRo vessel. It proves that suction sails can be installed on ships with a high weather deck and a large wind attack area that meet all the required stability criteria.”

Bound4blue has already signed further commercial agreements with other shipowners. These include the installation of four 26 m high eSails on the juice carrier “Atlantic Orchard” (built in 2014) for the global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). The project carried out in collaboration with the ship’s Swedish owner, Wisby Tankers, aims to reduce annual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by at least 10%.

In the tanker segment, the Norwegian company Odfjell is preparing to retrofit a chemical tanker with the eSail system this year. Eastern Pacific Shipping from Singapore recently agreed to install three 22-m eSails on its 50,332-dwt “Pacific Sentinel” (built in 2019).

In other segments, Marubeni Corporation subsidiary MMSL from Singapore will install four 26-meter-high suction sails on the 84,860-gt Kamsarmax bulker ” Crimson Kingdom” (built in 2016) this year, while Tahitian shipping company SNA Tuhaa Pae (SNA) has commissioned a single 22-meter-high eSail on a combined cargo/passenger ship newbuilding due for delivery in Vigo, Spain, in 2026.

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