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Wallenius and Alfa Laval Form JV to Advance Wind Propulsion Solutions

wind power propulsion
Wallenius' concept for a car carrier outfitted with sails (Oceanbird)

Published Jun 29, 2021 5:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

In an effort to advance its plans for a car carrier outfitted with sails, along with broadly advancing wind propulsion, Swedish shipping company Wallenius will form a joint venture with engineering company Alfa Laval best known in the maritime industry for its scrubbers and fluid handling systems. The new joint venture will seek to develop innovative wind propulsion solutions for cargo vessels and other ship types with the goal of having its first system onboard a vessel within five years.

In 2020, Wallenius profiled its concept for a sail-powered car carrier called the Oceanbird. The futuristic sails are like airplane wigs using the same level of aerodynamic technology. They are designed to telescope from a minimum height of 150 feet above the waterline to permit the ship to pass into harbors to a maximum of 262 feet permitting the ship to operate at optimal conditions or reef the sails in high wind conditions. 

"At Wallenius we are always striving to move the agenda for truly sustainable shipping," says Jonas Kleberg, Chairman and CEO of Wallenius. "Just as we did with PureBallast, we will now bring Oceanbird into this partnership with Alfa Laval. Together we will provide a powerful solution for sustainable shipping."

AlfaWall Oceanbird will develop wind propulsion technologies valid for any vessel type. The first installation will be implemented on Wallenius’ design for the transatlantic car carrier with a capacity of 7,000 cars, and an average speed of 10 knots. While the technology is initially being developed for cargo vessels, the ambition is to expand it to cruise liners and other vessels based on market demand.

"Meeting the shipping industry's decarbonization ambition will require multiple new solutions. In this new joint venture, we will combine the expertise of Alfa Laval and Wallenius, enabling us to develop a completely new and innovative vessel type that can contribute to the decarbonization targets," says Tom Erixon, President and CEO of Alfa Laval.

To support the transformation towards more sustainable shipping, Alfa Laval continues to develop its toolbox of products and solutions for the industry. As part of this commitment, Alfa Laval is now joining forces with the Wallenius Group in the joint venture: AlfaWall Oceanbird. The joint venture is subject to customary merger clearance from relevant regulatory authorities.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.