The MV Afros, an Ultramax bulk carrier fitted with Anemoi’s Flettner Rotor system, has been named ‘Ship of the Year’ at the prestigious Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards 2018. The 64,000 dwt newbuild vessel, managed by Piraeus-based Blue Planet Shipping, is the first geared dry bulk carrier to be equipped with Flettner Rotors. The installation includes four Rotors which reduce vessel fuel consumption at sea and, uniquely, when in port can be moved along the deck clear of cargo handling gear, preventing any impact on port operations.
The SDARI designed vessel was built by China’s Jiangsu Haitong Offshore Engineering Co. Ltd. and delivered in January 2018. The vessel is classed by Lloyd’s Register and registered with the Marshall Islands flag. The MV Afros is also fitted with a Ship Energy Efficiency Management System consisting of variable frequency drives for primary pumps and fans, significantly reducing onboard power needs.
The Flettner Rotor system was designed and installed by British company Anemoi Marine Technologies (Anemoi) based in London.
Flettner Rotors (“Wind Engines”) utilise the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect to provide useful propulsion to the vessel by harnessing wind power to enhance vessel efficiency, reducing net fuel consumption and lowering harmful exhaust emissions. This installation on a globally trading bulker making long trans-oceanic voyages is yielding invaluable data regarding Rotor performance and optimisation. Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion promises significant (>10%) fuel savings when operating on routes with the most favourable wind conditions.
Anemoi have successfully met the significant challenges of installing this technology on bulkers, with the Wind Engines movable to allow access to cargo holds. Anemoi systems are also suitable for installation on other types and sizes of vessel.
A spokesperson for Blue Planet Shipping commented on winning the award:
“It was a big step being the first to adopt this system, but we have seen a marked reduction in fuel consumption, and proven efficiencies have been made in the operation of the vessel. This award recognises that environmental innovation does not have to come at the expense of commercial viability for the shipping industry.”
Nick Contopoulos, Director, Anemoi, added:
“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards. There has been significant momentum building in wind technologies over the past few years and this award recognises the hard work of all those involved in this project. This is a positive result for the advancement of Flettner Rotor technology and more broadly, innovations in renewable energy sources for the commercial shipping industry. Blue Planet have demonstrated throughout that actions speak louder than words and have proved their commitment to discovering new ways in reducing the impact of shipping operations on the environment.”
The Lloyd’s List Greek Awards evening had a topical edge this year, themed to reflect the shipping industry’s current need to prepare for an era of lower emissions and new fuels. High on the agenda for every shipping company is the need to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new sulphur emissions regulations due into force in January 2020, which may increase bunkering costs. Beyond 2020, the IMO target for a 50% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in shipping by 2050 will require the development and wide adoption of new technologies. As a way of harnessing renewable energy from the wind, Flettner Rotors can make a major contribution.
Anemoi are now planning future installations to further demonstrate the viability of this technology for shipowners and operators