Berge Bulk Adds Rotor Sails to Two Giant Bulkers

anemoi rotor sails
Illustration courtesy Anemoi

Published Jul 13, 2022 8:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

Singapore-based dry bulk owner Berge Bulk is accelerating its use of wind-assisted propulsion technology by contracting with Anemoi Marine Technologies to supply rotor sails for two vessels in its fleet.

Just days after Berge Bulk agreed to equip its Newcastlemax bulker Berge Olympus with BAR Tech WindWings, supplied by Yara Marine Technologies, the company announced that Anemoi Marine will supply wind-assisted propulsion technology for two of its bulkers. 

UK-based Anemoi Marine builds rotor sail propulsion systems for commercial vessels, a technology that is fast gaining traction as the global maritime industry pursues a lower-carbon future. Anemoi and competitor Norsepower have a growing number of vessel references as shipowners look for new ways to save on fuel and reduce emissions.

According to Berge Bulk, Berge Neblina - a 388,000 dwt Valemax ore carrier built in 2012 - was made 'wind-ready' earlier this year with the structural integration required prior to installing the rotors. The work was carried out during a scheduled drydocking. 

Four of Anemoi's large folding deployment rotor sails will be installed to improve vessel performance. Folding rotor sails can be lowered from the vertical to mitigate the impact on air draught and cargo handling operations.

The flexible ‘wind-ready’ approach has been taken to align with vessel availability and Anemoi's production slots. The same approach has been taken with the second vessel, Berge Mulhacen, a 2017-built 210,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulker which will also receive four folding rotor sails. Plan approval has been obtained for both ships from DNV.

Anemoi predicts that the four-rotor system will save Berge Bulk 1,200-1,500 tonnes of fuel per vessel annually.

“Wind propulsion is an option we have explored previously in other formats, and we firmly believe it can help achieve our decarbonization commitments,” said Paolo Tonon, Berge Bulk Technical Director.

He added that the partnership with Anemoi commenced with in-depth engineering simulations to find the best possible technical and commercial solution culminating in the rolling out of the rotor sail technology for the two vessels.

Berge Bulk, which owns and manages a fleet of over 80 vessels equating to more than 14 million dwt, believes that investing in wind-assisted propulsion technology will cement its position in the dry bulk industry in terms of efficient ship design and operations and forms part of its committed to developing and deploying commercially viable deep-sea zero-emission vessels by 2030. The company has committed to be carbon neutral by 2025 at the latest.

“Forward-thinking shipowners are turning to wind-assisted propulsion to help them achieve their environmental objectives – and it proves, once again, that rotor sails are a realistic and workable solution that results in significant carbon savings,” said Kim Diederichsen, Anemoi Marine CEO.

Wind-assisted propulsion has emerged as a strong contender as the maritime industry explores decarbonization options to achieve the International Maritime Organization’s greenhouse gases reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.  

To date, most of the shipping industry’s installations of wind-assisted propulsion have focused on Flettner rotor technology with several companies attaining meaningful fuel savings and reductions in emissions.