Shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) is beginning a new trial aimed at unlocking the potential of wind propulsion as a sustainable solution for the maritime industry.
Following the successful completion of a factory test, ONE, in partnership with Dutch maritime wind-powered technology developer Econowind, is set to install two containerised wind assist devices, known as VentoFoil containers, on the container ship Kalamazoo. The 1,036 TEU feeder vessel operates between Pusan, Yokohama, and Honolulu, is owned by Norse UK and operated by Goodwood Ship Management, Singapore.
The VentoFoils, which resemble aircraft wings, are designed to harness wind energy, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions. Each VentoFoil is equipped with a smart suction system that optimises airflow and maximises thrust, and has the potential to generate up to 400kW of power, reducing fuel consumption by 5%. The foils are fully automatic, adjusting for wind speed and direction, and can be started from the ship bridge.
ONE MD Hiroki Tsujii said: “ONE is committed to minimising our environmental impact and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This trial with Econowind is an important step forward in our efforts to explore innovative and sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.”
The trial is scheduled to begin in January 2024 and will run for about six months. It is envisaged as a comprehensive study, with ONE closely monitoring the performance of the VentoFoils. Data on fuel consumption, emissions reductions, and overall operational efficiency will be collected. The results of the trial will be used to assess the long-term viability of wind propulsion as a sustainable shipping solution.
The collaboration with Econowind and Norse UK, who are committed towards ‘Target Net Zero by 2050’, aligns with ONE’s broader green strategy, encompassing initiatives to enhance carbon management, optimize operational efficiency, explore alternative fuels and technologies, and engage in community green building.