World’s first wind-powered RoRo vessel secures EUR 9M in EU funding
Oceanbird and project partners have secured a Horizon Europe funding totalling EUR 9m to support building a RoRo sailing vessel. Over the next five years, all aspects of planning, building, and operating a wind-powered vessel, the Orcelle Wind, will be done.
“The Horizon Europe EU funding shows the concept stood up to the scrutiny of the EU funding authorities and that they had the confidence to give it their support,” says Roger Strevens, VP Global Sustainability at project coordinator Wallenius Wilhelmsen.
The grant of EUR 9m is divided between eleven partners – all bringing something unique to the table. Together, they represent a 360-degree perspective on wind propulsion – including weather routing, vessel design, supply chain orchestration and crew training to test rig installation on an existing vessel. The project’s scope is to make the Orcelle Wind ready for commercial trading.
Collaboration leads the decarbonization strategy
“The EU Funding project is based on a collaborative approach – we need strong partners to lead the way to zero emissions as soon as possible. We are proud to have a group of the best technical, operational, and academic partners, as well as one of our key customers, for the project. All have committed to working together to help make Orcelle Wind a reality,” says Strevens.
The EU project, called Orcelle Horizon, is a solid opportunity to combine the investments needed for full-scale demonstration and data capture with advanced models and tools for wing propulsion vessels. Beyond the demonstrator’s vessel, the partners will use the models and tools to develop advanced conceptual designs and operational plans for multiple vessel types to apply the wing solution.
A 220-meter-long wind powered vessel
Orcelle Wind is a wind-powered Pure Car Truck Carrier, a type of deepsea Roll On, Roll Off vessel. It will be 220 meters and have a capacity for over 7,000 cars, but will also be capable of carrying breakbulk and rolling equipment. Orcelle Wind is a crucial part of Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s fleet decarbonization strategy and the ambition is for it to commence sailing in late 2026 or early 2027.
Orcelle Wind is the first vessel from the Oceanbird concept for primarily wind-powered vessels. The concept shows that it is theoretically possible to reduce emissions from vessels by up to 90 percent if all emissions-influencing factors are aligned.
“The Oceanbird concept was developed through a partnership approach. We have seen the strength of gathering people from different sectors and companies to cover all perspectives. By working together, we will bring the Orcelle Wind project to life – and by that – take a huge step towards truly sustainable shipping,” says Niclas Dahl, Managing Director at Oceanbird.
Test rig installation
An important part of Orcelle Horizon is installing the wing sail test rig on an existing Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel during mid-2024. Oceanbird and Wallenius Wilhelmsen presented the test rig installation in a webcast live webcast from ABBA Arena.
- Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation
- Orcelle Horizon covers the full scope of elements needed to prepare for commercial trading of the vessel Orcelle Wind
- Project duration: January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2027 (60 months)
- Subsidy amount: EUR 9m
Partners in Orcelle Horizon:
- Wallenius Wilhelmsen – project coordinator – a global roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping company from Norway
- Wallenius Marine, a ship design and ship management company in Sweden
- AlfaWall Oceanbird, a 50/50 joint venture of Alfa Laval and Wallenius specializing in developing technology for wind-powered vessel propulsion in Sweden
- Volvo Cars, one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world
- StormGeo, a world-leading weather forecasting service provider
- Maritime CleanTech, an organization representing the Norwegian Maritime Cluster, focusing on sustainable innovation projects with commercial potential
- DNV, an international accredited registrar and classification society headquartered in Norway
- RISE Maritime, a Swedish company who is part of the Research Institutes of Sweden, they develop solutions for a sustainable and resilient maritime industry
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden’s largest technical university
- UGent, a public research university located in Ghent, Belgium
- NTUA, an engineering university in Athens, Greece