Spanish Tanker Company Marflet Marine to Add Suction Sails to First Tanker

suction sails tanker
The suction sail technology will be installed on the product tanker in 2025 (Bound4blue)

Published May 28, 2024 7:23 PM by The Maritime Executive


Marflet Marine, one of Spain’s oldest private shipping companies, is joining the growing list of ship operators adopting wind-assisted propulsion. The company has signed a contract to install four eSails, a suction sail design, from Bound4blue on one of its four product tankers.

The four sails will be installed in mid-2025 on the Santiago I, a 49,999 dwt product tanker built in Croatia in 2022. It has a MAN B&W 6G50ME B9.3 Tier II engine that provides operating speeds of 14 knots. The vessel operates worldwide.

“This is a very significant contract for us, not only because Marflet is the first Spanish shipowner to join the wind revolution, but also because with this contract, we consolidate the tanker segment,” comments José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of Bound4blue. “Having Marflet 'on board' is a source of real pride, signifying that more and more shipowners are realizing the great potential of wind as a decarbonizing force within the industry.

Working by dragging air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, the suction sails are expected to provide a 10 to 15 percent reduction in annual energy consumption with the reduced main engine loads. The results will vary depending on the vessel’s routing and operations.

The Santiago I will have four “Model 2” turnkey eSAIL units fitted, each standing approximately 72 feet (22 meters) off the deck. Spanish engineering specialist Cotenaval will be responsible for tasks including designing the sail foundations and electrical installation. Bound4blue highlights the ease of installation and fully autonomous operations. 

The company highlights that its suction sails can be installed on the majority of vessel segments, including, tankers, bulkers, Ro/Ros, cruises, ferries, gas carriers, and general cargo vessels. Other leading industry companies, including Eastern Pacific Shipping, Louis Dreyfus Company, and Odfjell, have also contracted for the installation of Bound4blue’s suction sail design.

Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines yesterday reported that it would be expanding its use of the rigid sail it designed and was also considering installing wind rotors. The company also plans to install a different foil technology on one of its new multipurpose vessels.

All of this comes as the International Windship Association highlighted strong growth in wind-assisted propulsion. They believe interest is growing in the sector in response to the EU and IMO emissions initiatives.