The Viking Grace cruise ferry has set sail on her first voyage as the only passenger ship in the world equipped with a Rotor Sail to harness wind power for propulsion, Viking Line announced.
The Rotor Sail Solution will cut fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions by up to 900 tons annually, the company said.
The cylindrical Rotor Sail unit installed on the Viking Grace is 24m in height and 4m in diameter, and is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor; a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power to propel a ship. The solution is fully automated and senses whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings, at which point the rotors start automatically – optimizing crew time and resource.
Commenting on the partnership, Jan Hanses, CEO, Viking Line, said:
“This is a great day for us. As an Åland shipping company, we rely on the sea for our livelihood so it’s of prime importance for us to promote the well-being of the marine environment. We want to pioneer the use of solutions that reduce the environmental load. Based in Finland, Norsepower has developed a world-class mechanical Rotor Sail Solution that will reduce fuel consumption. We are proud of the fact that our Viking Grace will be the first passenger ship in the world to benefit from this innovative solution.”
Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, which developed the rotor, said:
“For Norsepower, it’s an honour to contribute to making the M/S Viking Grace even more environmentally-friendly by means of our novel Rotor Sail technology. The last traditional windjammers in the world were owned and operated by shipping companies based in Åland, so it’s only fitting that Åland-based Viking Line should be a forerunner in launching modern auxiliary sail technology. Viking Line and Norsepower have collaborated in an excellent manner in retrofitting the Rotor Sail solution on the Viking Grace, and the completion of this project is a great moment for all those involved.”
In addition to the installation onboard the Viking Grace, Viking Line will also install two Norsepower Rotor Sails onboard a newbuild cruise ferry vessel which is currently being built in China and due to be operational in 2020.