As interest continues to grow in wind-assisted propulsion, manufacturer bound4blue reports it has installed three 22-metre-high eSAILs on the 5,200-dwt Ro-Ro “Ville de Bordeaux,” from French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs.

This installation is considered by the company “a new milestone as it is the first-ever fixed suction sail installation on a ro-ro ship” with a European shipowner.

The bases for the eSAILs were installed in Poland in November 2023, and the verticalization manoeuvre and connection to the reinforcement of the suction sails was completed in less than two days last week.

The Ville de Bordeaux is on charter to Airbus from French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and used to transport A320 family components from Europe for final assembly at the aircraft manufacturer’s US factory in Mobile, Alabama.

The fast installation process involved minimal downtime for the vessel. It departed Saint Nazaire in France on its maiden voyage with the eSAILs on March 3 and is set to arrive in Mobile approximately two weeks later. 

According to bound4blue, each eSAIL generates six to seven times more lift than a conventional sail thanks to an electric-powered air suction system that helps the airflow to re-adhere to the sail. All this force allows for the reduction of the load on the ship’s main engines. 

Meanwhile, bound4blue has also signed additional commercial agreements with several other shipowners. These include the installation of four 26-metre-high eSAILs on the chartered-in, 35,584-dwt juice carrier Atlantic Orchard (built 2014) for global agricultural trader Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC).

The project, undertaken in collaboration with Wisby Tankers of Sweden, is expected to reduce annual fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by at least 10%.

As bound4blue claims, Odfjell of Norway is gearing up to retrofit the eSAIL system this year on a chemical tanker.

Eastern Pacific Shipping of Singapore also very recently agreed to install three 22-metre eSAILs on its 50,332-dwt Pacific Sentinel (built 2019).

Furthermore, as bound4blue stated, Marubeni Corporation subsidiary MMSL Pte Ltd of Singapore is also this year set to install four 26-metre-high eSAILs on the 84,860-dwt kamsarmax bulker Crimson Kingdom, built in 2016.

The Tahitian shipowner SNA THUA’A PAE (SNA) has signed up to install a single 22-metre-high eSAIL on a combined cargo/passenger newbuilding it has on order in Vigo, Spain, for delivery in 2026.

Source: bound4blue