Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd announced on 2 November 2021 they reached an agreement with Vale International SA to conduct a joint study on installation of a wind propulsion system called “Rotor Sail” on a 200,000-ton class in-service bulk carrier, which mainly transports iron ore for steel production. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the vessel while under way.

Rotor Sails are unique, tall cylindrical sails that can be installed on the deck of commercial vessels. The Rotor Sails make use of the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the ‘Magnus Effect’.

As the cylinder rotates within an airflow, a forward thrust force perpendicular to the apparent wind direction is created, which delivers additional thrust to the vessel.

The thrust generated can either provide additional vessel speed or maintain vessel speed by reducing power from the main engine.

The joint study team will examine and verify the number of Rotor Sails to be installed and the effect of GHG reduction, working closely with Anemoi Marine Technologies Ltd (Anemoi), the manufacturer of the Rotor Sails. Anemoi, based in the UK, installed the world’s first Rotor Sail on a newbuilding Ultramax bulk carrier in 2018.

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