“Orcelle Wind” Awarded €9M EU Funding

“Orcelle Wind” Awarded €9M EU Funding

A group of partners has obtained an EU grant of €9 million under the direction of the Norwegian shipping business Wallenius Wilhelmsen to finance the development of an environmentally friendly, wind-powered, purely car and truck carrier vessel.

The deep-sea Roll On, Roll Off (RoRo) vessel Orcelle Wind will be 220 meters long, able to hold more than 7,000 cars, as well as break bulk and rolling machinery.

The goal is for Orcelle Wind to start sailing in late 2026 or early 2027. It is an essential component of Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s fleet decarbonization strategy.

As vessel owners, operators, and charterers look for ways to minimize their environmental impacts, the commercial marine industry is investigating the use of wind power as both a primary and auxiliary propulsion source.

According to Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the Orcelle Wind will lower emissions by up to 90% compared to “today’s best vessels.”

“The Horizon Europe EU funding shows the concept stood up to the scrutiny of the EU funding authorities and that they had the confidence to give it their support,” said Roger Strevens, VP of Global Sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

The funding of €9 million will be split among 11 partners.

In addition to Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the project’s coordinator, these organizations include Wallenius Marine and AlfaWall Oceanbird, a joint venture between Wallenius and Alfa Laval that focuses on creating wind-powered propulsion technology.

Other partners are Volvo Cars, weather forecaster StormGeo, Maritime CleanTech, the DNV classification society, RISE Maritime from Sweden, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, UGent, a public research university in Belgium, and NTUA, a Greek engineering university.

Collectively, these organizations provide a 360-degree view of wind propulsion, encompassing weather routing, vessel design, supply chain orchestration, and crew training for test rig installation on an existing vessel.

“The EU Funding project is based on a collaborative approach – we need strong partners to lead the way to zero emissions as soon as possible,” Strevens said.

The EU project offers the chance to include cutting-edge models and technologies for wing propulsion vessels with the investments required for full-scale demonstration and data collection.

The partners will use the models and tools to create advanced conceptual designs and operational plans for a variety of vessel types to implement the wing solution in addition to the demonstrator vessel.

Midway through 2024, a Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel will have the wing sail test rig installed as part of the Horizon Europe funding initiative. The test rig installation will be discussed in a webcast on January 26 by Oceanbird and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

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