Chemship Unveils Wind Sail Retrofit for Enhanced Sustainability

Netherlands-based tanker owner pioneers wind-assist technology to reduce emissions and fuel consumption


Netherlands-based stainless steel chemicals tanker owner, Chemship, has embarked on a groundbreaking endeavor by commissioning the upgraded 2015-built Chemical Challenger, marking the inauguration of wind sail retrofitting within its fleet.

Equipped with four 16-meter-high aluminium Ventofoils from Econowind, the 16,111 deadweight tonnage (dwt) tanker now boasts a direct wind surface of 180 square meters. Leveraging turbo-sail technology, this surface area is magnified by a factor of five, culminating in an equivalent of 900 square meters, elucidated the company. Forecasts suggest that this innovative upgrade is poised to yield fuel savings and emission reductions amounting to a commendable 10%.

The vessel is slated to ply its trade across Chemship’s trans-Atlantic route connecting the east coast of the US with the Mediterranean, a trajectory typically influenced by prevailing westerly winds.

The advent of Wind Assisted Propulsion Systems (WAPS) has catalyzed considerable interest among maritime stakeholders keen on fortifying the sustainability quotient of their vessels by curbing emissions. Notably, WAPS confer direct advantages as shipowners navigating to, from, or within the European Economic Area are now mandated to shoulder the onus of compensating for their vessels’ carbon footprint. Commencing from January of the current year, the monitoring, reporting, and verification of carbon emissions are obligatory, with initial payments contingent upon emissions performance slated for September 2025.

Niels Grotz, the CEO of Chemship, underscored the mounting demand from clientele for CO2 reports, affirming that enhanced vessel performance resonates positively with customers, not only in environmental stewardship but also in financial dividends. Michiel Marelis, the company’s Operations Director, expounded upon the rationale behind adopting wind-assist technology, characterizing shipping as an evolutionary continuum. Marelis elucidated Chemship’s discerning selection of wind sails, accentuating their unobtrusive installation devoid of structural reinforcements, lightweight composition, minimal deck space requirement, and non-interference with crew visibility. Emphasizing safety protocols, he noted the automated folding of sails under robust wind conditions, ensuring operational integrity.

Furthermore, Marelis delineated Chemship’s overarching sustainability blueprint, articulating a multifaceted approach encompassing visible initiatives such as turbo-sails alongside less conspicuous measures including optimized lubricants and hydrodynamic coatings. The amalgamation of these initiatives is projected to culminate in fuel savings surpassing 15%, complemented by a commensurate reduction in CO2 emissions, emblematic of Chemship’s steadfast commitment to fostering a greener fleet.

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