First ship equipped with a “Seawing” kite propulsion system

A French ro-ro ship will be the first commercial ship to test a new wind-assisted propulsion system designed to reduce shipping emissions

Airseas has announced that it has installed its Seawing system on the Ville de Bordeaux vessel owned and operated by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. The ship, which is chartered by Airbus to transport major aircraft components between France and the United States, will deploy the 500 square meter Seawing on its monthly transatlantic voyages from January 2022, carrying out six months of trials at sea and testing before full operation.

Airseas has received formal approval from classification society Bureau Veritas to begin offshore operations, following three years of close collaboration on the Seawing’s development and initial trials.

According to Airseas, a French company founded in 2016 by former Airbus engineers, its Seawing system combines kite technology with an automated flight control system and can be deployed, used and stored safely at the touch of a button. of a button. It can be installed on a ship in two days.

Airseas’ full-size Seawing is a 1,000 square meter parafoil that flies at an altitude of 300 meters, capturing the force of the wind to propel the vessel. Based on modeling and preliminary tests on land, Airseas estimates the Seawing system will achieve an average 20% reduction in fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions, the company said.

Vincent Bernatets, CEO and co-founder of Airseas, said: “Ten years ago, we embarked on the ambitious project of channeling our unique aeronautical expertise towards creating a cleaner and safer shipping industry. more sustainable. Today, I am more than proud to see that vision come true, with our first Seawing poised to make a tangible difference for our planet. This first installation marks a significant milestone not only for Airseas, but also for wind and other renewable propulsion technologies in general. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, the world needs to see a drastic reduction in carbon emissions now. In shipping, we can achieve this using the full set of tools we have today. Wind propulsion is one of them and will play a vital role in helping shipping achieve its much-needed decarbonization transition. »

Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President Technical & Operations at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, said: “This important milestone follows three years of close and successful collaboration on the development and first trials of the Seawing, supporting Airseas’ approach focusing on security and validating the reliability of the system. As a class society, Bureau Veritas has a key role to play in supporting safe innovation, and that is why we developed comprehensive rules on wind propulsion systems earlier this year. At BV, we are committed to helping the maritime sector meet the challenges of energy transition, and we are convinced that wind propulsion technology represents a key opportunity to immediately start decarbonizing the maritime sector.

Comments are closed.