Today, 4 July, the general cargo vessel EEMS Traveller, owned by Amasus Shipping, sets sail from the port of Bilbao. On the vessel, the wind propulsion sector company bound4blue has successfully installed two 17-metre tall eSAILs®, the largest suction sails to be built and installed to date on a ship.
The installation, approved by Bureau Veritas, was completed within the framework of the Sails for Cargo project, co-funded by the Ports 4.0 Fund of the State Ports Authority, with the support of the Port Authority of Bilbao, Bilbao PortLab, Toro y Betolaza and Haizea Wind Group.
This innovative project is based on the use of a thick-walled aerodynamic profile equipped with a smart suction system to increase its aerodynamic efficiency, giving rise to a technology that generates seven times more thrust than the wing of an airplane. The aim is to test the new and improved generation of this automated wind-assisted propulsion system designed to reduce fuel costs and pollutant emission levels. Using this technology could potentially bring about a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 40%, depending on factors such as the type of vessel itself, its operational profile and the winds in the areas where it generally operates.
The sails were installed in two phases. A year ago, during a regular and scheduled dry-dock service of the vessel, the foundations for both the eSAILs® were manufactured and installed in the Netherlands. Subsequently, the sails manufactured by Haizea Wind at their plant in
Aranda del Duero were vertically positioned and installed, and all internal elements duly integrated. The operation to lift the system into a vertical position was performed by the company Toro y Betolaza, using two cranes and other auxiliary equipment for the sails to be firmly and precisely anchored into position.
At the same time, bound4blue has been monitoring the consumption data of the vessel to obtain its baseline performance, which will be used by a third party to assess results in terms of fuel savings and emissions reduction over the next 12 months. This will enable scientifically validated results to be obtained and used to quantify the actual effects of the system on board the vessel, and to form the basis for future development.