Oman’s leading shipping group, Asyad, is adopting wind-assisted propulsion technology, as part of its commitment to sustainability. Collaborating with Vale, the global mining company, and Anemoi Marine Technologies, a UK-based supplier of wind-assisted propulsion technology, the project involves installing five rotor sails, also known as Flettner rotors, on the 400,000 dwt Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC), Sohar Max.
The vessel is owned by Asyad and leased by Vale and will be fitted with cylindrical sails, each 35 m tall and 5 m in diameter. Classification for the project, which is expected to be undertaken in the second quarter of 2024, will be carried out by Lloyd’s Register.
According to Asyad, what sets this project apart is the use of Anemoi’s folding deployment system, allowing the sails to be folded from a vertical position. “This innovation minimises the impact on air draught and cargo handling operations, showcasing a thoughtful approach to integration,” Asyad adds.
The Valemax vessels, which typically navigate deep-sea routes between Brazil, China, and the Middle East, are considered well-suited for wind propulsion. The project is expected to lead to a 6% reduction in fuel consumption and a corresponding decrease of up to 3,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per ship annually.
According to a statement from Asyad, “Our decision to embrace wind-assisted propulsion technology represents a paradigm shift. By undertaking this initiative, we are not only contributing to meeting international emission reduction targets, but also set a precedent for other shipowners to adopt net-zero technologies as rotor sails as emerge as a suitable choice for those committed to sustainability, aligning with critical international standards like EEDI/EEXI and the Carbon Intensity Indicator.”