First new build order for Bound4blue sail system

Caption: The new building "Na Pae E Hiro" will have a sail system from Bound4Blue (© Cotenaval)

Bound4blue, a specialist in auxiliary wind propulsion systems, has received its first order for its eSail system as part of a new shipbuilding project.

Bound4blue is to supply a 22 m high eSail for the new multi-purpose vessel that is being built in Spain [ds_preview].

The ship “Na Pae E Hiro” was ordered by the shipping company SNA (Sna Tuha’a Pae) from Tahiti at the Armon shipyard in Vigo. The newbuild, which is intended to supply the remote Austral Islands in the South Pacific and transport tourists, is to be fitted with a 22-metre high eSail system, which will reduce its energy consumption by 10%, as Bound4blue has now announced.

The 89-meter-long ship is due to be delivered in 2026. The project marks a first for Bound4blue: it is the first time that the technology has been selected for a new ship of this type. ESail is a suction sail system that utilizes wind power by using an autonomous vertical sail with suction technology that draws in air via an aerodynamic profile.

So far, Bound4blue has been selected for retrofit or conversion projects. One example: at the end of 2023, an agreement was announced with Louis Dreyfus for the installation of four 26-metre high eSails on the charter vessel “Atlantic Orchard” and three 22-metre high units on the “Ville de Bordeaux”, which is used by Airbus to transport aircraft assemblies.

“Outstanding order for Bound4blue”

David Ferrer, co-founder and CTO of Bound4blue, commented on the latest project: “This is an outstanding order for us, as it is the first time that our technology has been selected for a new build after a very competitive international tender process.”

“Na Pae E Hiro” is now to be built at the Armon shipyard in Vigo, Spain. The design was created by Cotenaval from Spain, while the French company ECO was involved. Financial support was granted as part of the French government’s “Appel à Manifestation d’intérêt” initiative.

The new building will be equipped with engines that can run on biofuel or e-fuel as soon as this is commercially available in the region. There is also an electric pod drive. The loading capacity is 1,500 tons, almost four times that of its predecessor, the “Tuhaa Pae IV”.

“The development of these beautiful islands, the sustainability of local economic activity and the general well-being of the population depend on a strong maritime link,” said Boris Piel, Technical Director of SNA. “A new generation of vessels is opening up new opportunities for communities here, and the ‘Na Pae E Hiro’ has been designed to maximize that potential.”

SNA has been providing services to the Austral Islands since 1970, particularly to Rapa Island, which has no airport. It has been operating ships in Polynesia for 42 years. The current ship was commissioned at the end of 2012. SNA operates the Australes line with an average of 30 annual rotations.

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