May 28, 2024 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

Marflet Marine, one of Spain’s longest standing private shipping companies, has signed a contract with bound4blue for the installation of four 22m eSails on the 49,999 dwt oil and chemical tanker ‘Santiago I’.

Agreed as part of Marflet’s ongoing decarbonisation strategy, the installation will enable Santiago I to reduce conventional fuel use, optimising operating costs and cutting GHG emissions.

The contract, with installation in mid-2025, makes Marflet the first Spanish merchant fleet owner to adopt a WAP system. It marks a further landmark development for bound4blue’s fully autonomous ‘suction sail’ eSail technology, which has recently been selected by other industry names including Eastern Pacific Shipping, Louis Dreyfus Company and Odfjell. Working by dragging air across an aerodynamic surface to generate high propulsive efficiency, the system is said to be simple, robust, highly efficient and to require zero operational input from crew.

José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO, bound4blue said: “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. 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. The wind revolution is here, and the time is now: as regulations become more stringent and stakeholders demand action to achieve environmental goals, solutions such as our eSails allow owners to harness a natural, clean power source while also realising significant commercial benefits.”

Santiago I, which operates worldwide, will have four ‘model 2’ turnkey eSail units fitted, with Spanish engineering specialist Cotenaval taking charge of tasks including designing the sail foundations and electrical installation. The easy installation of the units provided a key selling point for the shipowner, minimising additional engineering work and limiting downtime when compared to competing emission reduction technologies.

Depending on vessel routing and operations, and according to detailed modelling, Santiago I should save around 10% to 15% of annual energy consumption with the reduced main engine loads.

Juan Cremades, Fleet Manager Marflet said: “This contract demonstrates our determination to identify innovative pathways to enhance operational sustainability. With bound4blue’s eSails onboard, Santiago I has a cost-effective means to optimise fuel efficiency and really drive down emissions, benefiting all our stakeholders. We see huge potential in wind, and we’re thrilled to be the first mover in the Spanish merchant market to adopt such a breakthrough solution. The Santiago I’s voyage will continue from here. In addition to the suction sail technology, we will now focus on additional ways to reduce underwater radiated noise and further improve both efficiency and safety with advanced weather route analysis.”

The eSail technology is suitable for both newbuilds and retrofitting across the majority of vessel segments, including, but not limited to, tankers, bulkers, ro-ros, cruises, ferries, gas carriers, and general cargo vessels. eSails provide compliance with existing and upcoming regulations, including improving vessel CII ratings, boosting EEDI and EEXI, complying with the advent of FuelEU Maritime, and contributing to saved allowances within the EU ETS.

Image: ‘Santiago 1’ with sails fitted (source: bound4blue/BlueC PR)

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