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Friday, August 21, 2020 

Ferry operator Scandlines says that passengers onboard its vessel 'Copenhagen' between Rostock and Gedser have been getting a little extra for their standard ticket price as people start to experience taking a ferry powered partly by the wind.

The Norsepower Rotor Sail was installed on the ship in May as part of the EU funded Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project that aims to install five wind assisted propulsion units on to a series of different vessels operating in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. These systems are expected to deliver an average 4% – 5% fuel savings - corresponding to the same amount of CO2 emission reduction – and more than 20% in optimal wind conditions. Initial impressions of the technology from the crew, the captain and the passengers appear favourable.

The steel foundation for the Rotor Sail (42 tons) was put in place during a routine yard stay in November 2019. The installation of the 30m Norsepower Rotor Sail  itself was undertaken during an overnight stay in the port of Rostock.

Senior Captain Alan Bach said: “We were able to complete almost everything within the limited time of just a few hours. This was key as we are operating on a 24/7 basis, every loss of service or revenue is naturally critical for ferry operations.”

Scandlines COO Michael Guldmann Petersen said: “We're expecting 4-5% reduction in CO2 emissions which is not an insignificant amount and if everything goes well, we are considering further installations in the future. We are very happy that the system is fully automated and we're expecting little in the way of technical problems, the last month of operations has been quite smooth and we see that continuing throughout the test period.”

German environmental association NABU (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) is satisfied too. Sönke Diesener, Transport Policy Officer, NABU said: “This is great news for climate and environment. NABU is happy to see real change following the ambitious announcements made by Scandlines. Scandlines is driving forward the way to decarbonise shipping and pioneering green technologies."

Tuomas Riski, CEO, Norsepower, said: “Scandlines has a strong track record of investing in new clean technologies to reduce emissions across its fleet. The ability to harness the wind through Norsepower’s Rotor Sail - alongside hydrodynamic hull optimisation, and hybrid electric propulsion system with a battery powered energy storage - makes the Copenhagen one of the world’s most energy-efficient ferries.”

As the system is installed on a ferry, one of the few places that shipping connects or interfaces with the wider public, a whole different conversation takes place. Scandlines believes that this offers the opportunity to showcase to the public one of its most important emission technology developments. Wind propulsion technologies are a very visible statement from a shipping company about its commitment to decarbonisation.

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