Oct 31, 2023 | Maritime business news

Finnish provider of mechanical sails for large ships Norsepower, IINO Kaiun Kaisha (IINO Lines) and Mizuho Leasing Company have jointly and exclusively signed a co-operation agreement to launch an innovative mechanical sail leasing initiative for the Norsepower Rotor Sail.

The agreement aims to increase shipping companies’ access to Norsepower’s product to help reduce fuel consumption, GHG and other related emissions. The partnership brings long experience in lease financing, including expertise in leasing sustainable technologies, which is combined with Norsepower’s nearly 10-year track record of successful installations onboard commercial vessels.

IMO recently set a net zero emissions target for ‘close to 2050’. However, the adoption of proven, commercialised energy efficiency products such as the Norsepower Rotor Sail is hindered by the traditional requirement for upfront investment. This initial investment can be a significant barrier to technology take-up for small to medium-sized shipowners and operators, despite the achievable fuel consumption, GHG and other emissions reductions. This failure means that thousands of vessels on the water today are missing out on the potential benefits of the Norsepower Rotor Sail. The new service aims to remove these barriers and enable greater accessibility to finance Norsepower’s product.

The initiative’s focus is to provide shipowners and operators with leasing packages for the Norsepower Rotor Sail which start at a minimum five-year term against a fixed monthly fee. The concept is being developed amid growing recognition that GHG and other emissions reductions with low carbon or green fuels alone prior to 2030 will be minimal. This is due to the limited availability of alternative fuels, placing an onus on energy efficiency solutions like Norsepower Rotor Sails to maximise energy efficiency savings.

Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said: “Norsepower Rotor Sails are now an undisputed choice for making meaningful emissions reductions and managing escalating fuel bills. Having our product as standard onboard all suitable vessels should be feasible for shipowners and operators of all sizes. That’s why we’re delighted to introduce new, competitively priced leasing services with our partners. By doing so, we could lower upfront capital requirements and encourage vessel owners to take action and upgrade their fleets. We are proud to bring this initiative to market with such high calibre organisations as IINO Lines and Mizuho Leasing. Through collaborating, we aspire to offer combined access to significant credit facilities as well as leveraging IINO Lines and Mizuho Leasing’s extensive leasing experience across sustainable technologies, maritime assets and beyond.”

Ryuichi Osonoe, Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer, IINO Lines, said: “We have fostered a strong relationship with Norsepower, installing its rotor sails on two of our vessels. Now, we want to make this product more accessible to the industry. We are confident that bringing together our complementary leasing and finance capabilities with Norsepower’s proven product will accelerate the shipping industry’s journey to decarbonisation.”

Yasuhiko Hashimoto, Managing Executive Officer, Mizuho Leasing, added: “Through our work in other sectors, we have seen first-hand how improving access to finance and providing flexible options for accessing sustainable technologies can make a real-world impact on improving environmental performance. We are excited to apply our experience to the maritime industry and support IINO Lines and Norsepower in achieving our shared ambition to make the use of energy-efficient technologies a scalable reality.”

The Norsepower Rotor Sail is a modernised version of the Flettner rotor. It uses a small amount of the ship’s electric power to rotate cylinder-shaped rotors to generate thrust that saves fuel and reduces emissions. Vessel and cargo owners have already used the product for nearly 10 years, accumulating around 300,000 operating hours of verified performance data that show average fuel consumption savings of between 5-25%, or more in good conditions. These savings have been measured and analysed independently in various projects by Lloyd’s Register as well as ABB, NAPA, RISE, Chalmers University of Technology and VTT.

Nearly 30,000 vessels across tankers, bulk carriers, gas carriers, roll-on/roll-off, and passenger vessels currently on the water could benefit from Norsepower Rotor Sails. It is considered a proven commercialised product that could reduce CO2 emissions across the global fleet by 80 megatons, about 10% of all global shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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