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Maritime Propulsion

February 17, 2021

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to Build World's First Full-scale Wind-powered RoRo vessel

Credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Wallenius Wilhelmsen said Wednesday it plans to build the world`s first full-scale wind-powered RoRo vessel - the Orcelle Wind - in what the company said was its "most ambitious sustainability initiative to date."

According to Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the Orcelle Wind – a wind-powered Pure Car and Truck Carrier - will achieve up to 90% reduced emissions compared to "today’s best vessels."

"Our goal is to have a design ready for contracting with a shipyard by mid-2022, and a finished vessel ready for the high seas by 2025," the shipping company, which has 8700 employees in 29 countries, said.

"The transoceanic shipping industry is the most carbon-efficient mode of transport, yet it accounts for nearly 3% of global man-made GHG emissions, a share that is growing. Today, the industry has no viable substitute for carbon-based fuels," Wallenius Wilhelmsen, said.

“Since 2008, we have been able to reduce CO2 intensity by 33%, which is a significant step. But the journey towards zero emissions requires great strides forward.  We believe the Orcelle Wind is one of them,” said Craig Jasienski, CEO Wallenius Wilhelmsen.Credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen 

Building on the Oceanbird concept developed by maritime consultancy Wallenius Marine, Wallenius Wilhelmsen will take the concept forward by applying its extensive knowledge from the RoRo business, and conduct a comprehensive viability evaluation, said the Oslo-based group.

See the expected Orcelle Wind's specs, as shared by  Wallenius Wilhelmsen:

  • Overall car capacity of 7,000 vehicles
  • Ability to carry heavy machinery and breakbulk cargo, in addition to cars
  • Length of around 220m and beam (width) of approximately 40m
  • Speeds of 10-12kts under sail that can be increased with the supplemental power system 

"Orcelle Wind will be our technical and operational testbed for zero-emission innovation, where we can assess and develop various zero-emission fuels and technology,” said Erik Noeklebye, EVP and COO Shipping Services at Wallenius Wilhelmsen. 

"We have the advantage of size and we have world-class customers, partners and employees. It will take the dedicated collaboration of all to make such a bold initiative as the Orcelle Wind succeed.  More than just evaluating the concept, we are committed to making this a success,” said Craig Jasienski.