Oldendorff Will Fit First Rotors on a Bulker Used to Haul Coal from Canada
Oldendorff Carriers, one of the leading operators of bulk carriers, is joining the growing ranks of shipping companies adopting wind rotors on bulkers to improve operating efficiency and reduce emissions. The company has participated in several studies looking at the potential of wind-assisted propulsion and the use of rotors and now has ordered its first installation.
They report by mid-2024 one of its post Panamax vessels will be fitted with a rotor system. The rotors will be manufactured by Norsepower and the companies highlight that they will be constructed in part with recycled materials. Norsepower will include material from approximately 342,000 plastic bottles for the three rotors.
The project is being undertaken in collaboration with Teck Resources, one of Canada’s leading mining companies. Teck’s operations are focused on copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal. Oldendorff which owns a fleet of 130 bulkers and currently has a total of 724 in operations counting charters, has been working with Teck since November 2021 in an effort to reduce supply chain emissions. They estimate the efforts have already saved approximately 115,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The vessel that was selected for the installation is the Dietrich Oldendorff, which carries shipments of Teck’s steelmaking coal from Vancouver across the Pacific. They report that they have analyzed forty years of weather data which confirms that the trade between the Pacific Northwest and Asia is one of the best trade lanes for producing reliable wind energy.
Built in 2020, the vessel is 100,449 dwt with a length of 770 feet (235 meters). The rendering shows the vessel outfitted with three rotors offset on the starboard side between the six hatches so as not to interfere was cargo operations.
The addition of the rotors along with other emission savings measures, is expected to reduce emissions by 55 percent the companies said in the announcement. Annually, they expect this will provide a reduction of over 17,000 tonnes of CEO emissions.
Oldendorff reports that over the last decade, it has built 100 eco-friendly new bulkers as part of its efforts to reduce emissions from its fleet. Teck and Oldendoff are also currently plotting their use of biofuel on another bulk carrier in another effort to lower emissions.
Another mining company, Vale, began in 2021 testing the use of rotors on large bulk carriers. Vale recently announced that it would be expanding its efforts with rotors on additional vessels while both Tufton and CSSC this year reported fitting rotors to bulkers. Other bulker operators are testing rigid sail or wind wing concepts while Japan’s K Line is due to start a prototype test using a kite system launched while the vessel is in the ocean.