The French family-owned group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) is helping bring to market the design of a wind-assisted/propelled container ship.

Subsidiary of the group LD Freight Solutions has teamed up with the French-based naval architects VPLP Design and marine consultancy Alwena Shipping to develop the low emissions container vessels of the near future.

The subsidiary will identify, develop and pursue selected logistics solutions operated by wind assisted/propelled pure container ships designed and developed by its two partners.

The new wind assisted/propelled container ship solution is based on the Trade Wings 2,500 – an innovative concept for “small-size” container ships of 2,500 teu. With an overall length of 197m and a breadth of 32m, the vessel offers a deadweight of 32,500 tons.

Suitable to short sea shipping operations or feedering in Europe, Central America, Caribbean Islands and China, the Trade Wings 2,500 can also operate on transatlantic trades and be tailored to meet the clients’ requirements and volumes.

The preliminary project, which has been granted an approval in principle (AiP) by Bureau Veritas, runs on a hybrid propulsion comprising of six wing sails and a diesel-electric system. It is also designed to burn clean fuels such as LNG or methanol.

On a typical transatlantic voyage, the new ship solution is expected to save on average 35% CO2-equivalent emissions compared to a conventional design, with a 2-stroke engine, single shaft and without wingsails, at the same speed.

Mathieu Muzeau, Transport & Logistic General Manager of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, said that «it is fully aligned with the LDA strategy to accelerate shipping’s decarbonization, and especially linked to the innovations we are implementing such as the use of wind-propulsion systems and alternative fuels».