Project Explores Installing Wind Rotor Sails on LNG Carriers

wind rotor Anemoi
Study looks to expand the application of wind rotors to LNG carriers building on the experience with bulkers (Anemoi file photo)

Published Oct 30, 2023 4:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

Interest continues to grow within the maritime industry looking at the use of wind-assisted propulsion to aid owners in meeting the emerging goals to reduce emissions. Rotors have emerged as one of the alternative technologies for wind-assisted propulsion and starting to gain momentum primarily in the bulker segment.

The latest project is going to explore the potential of expanding the application of wind rotors to LNG carriers. UK-based Anemoi Marine Technologies reports has entered into a Joint Design Cooperation Agreement with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group of China to explore the application of the technology.

“Rotor Sails are ideal for modern LNG carriers due to the large amount of available deck space and limited impact on cargo operations,” says Nick Contopoulos, COO of Anemoi Marine Technologies. The company in its presentations has previously proposed in addition to its early applications with bulkers, tankers, and a test project with a Ro-Ro ferry in Europe, that rotors could be applied to any ship where there is sufficient deck space. They cited opportunities for both LNG and LPG carriers, which might become increasingly important as shipowners explore increasing the standard size of vessels in these segments.


Anemoi showed how the deck space on a tanker would provide opportunities for rotors (Anwemoi)


As part of the agreement, Anemoi reports it will assess the feasibility and design of rotor sails for installation on two classes of LNG carriers. The project will include developing relevant specification requirements and designs that can be used for future installation projects.

Anemoi says that it hopes to boost the confidence of rotor sail technology for gas carrier owners and enable the smooth introduction of a new generation of efficient and environmentally friendly LNG carrier design. They look to build on the study work done in other segments such as bulkers which have drawn support for organizations including Lloyd's Register and Oldendorf.

The company has been looking to build on growing interest in the technology. In May, they announced the company was on track to have a production capacity to install up to 50 rotor sails a year by the end of 2023. Most of the early installs have been on bulkers and in August they reported the successful installation and test of rotors on an 82,000 dwt Kamsarmax bulk carrier. The vessel owned by Tufton Investment Management and operating under charter to Cargill had better than expected results during its first voyage leading Anemoi to suggest it was likely to exceed the original 10 percent target for reductions in fuel use and emissions.

With the demand for LNG carriers, Hundong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group and the broader Chinese shipbuilding industry are looking for further opportunities to advance their competitive position in the segments. South Korea’s shipbuilders continue to dominate the newbuild orders for LNG carriers.