BHP Looking to Retrofit Bulker With a Rotor Sail

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AUSTRALIAN miner BHP is partnering with Pan Pacific Copper and Norsepower for the retrofit installation of a wind-assisted propulsion system on a ship.

The three companies are conducting a technical assessment for the retrofit installation of the apparatus on Koryu, a geared bulk carrier operated by Nippon Marine.

The installation of the Rotor Sail system is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transportation between BHP’s mines in Chile and PPC smelters in Japan. BHP and PPC have multi-year agreements for delivering copper concentrates from Chile to Japan.

The installation of the sail on Koryu is scheduled for the third quarter of next year.

Norsepower, the Finnish company that developed the Rotor Sail, says the system is about 10 times more efficient than a conventional sail and it requires no reefing or crew attention when in operation.

Rotor Sails use the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus effect – which is often used by cricket bowlers to prolong the flight of the ball. In the case of Rotor Sails, which are slender cylinders, they spin within an airflow and create a forward thrust force perpendicular to the apparent wind direction. This then delivers additional thrust to the vessel. The thrust generated can either provide additional vessel speed or maintain vessel speed by reducing power from the main engine.

BHP chief commercial officer Vandita Pant said: “Identifying and implementing innovative and sustainable solutions through our strong commodity and supply chain partnerships remain essential in supporting BHP’s decarbonisation ambitions. We look forward to working with PPC on the wind-assisted propulsion system to enable further GHG emissions reduction in our supply chain and add to the already strong partnership between BHP and PPC.”

PPC president Kazuhiro Hori said: “PPC and BHP have been sharing the mission to accelerate the activities for decarbonization in line with our respective climate targets and goals. The Koryu project is a good example of our collaboration and valuable step that proves eagerness by both companies to establish ecosystem partnerships to take on the climate challenge. We are looking forward to further developing the partnership with BHP in various areas.”

Norsepower CSO Jukka Kuuskoski said: “Our vision is to set the standard in bringing sailing back to shipping, and empower the maritime industry towards reaching the goal of zero carbon emissions. As fuel prices increase and a carbon levy is initiated, investing in technologies which have proven emissions reductions and fuel savings is essential for long term commercial success. Working with BHP, PPC and Nippon Marine demonstrates the increased commitment to greener operations, particularly within the bulk carrier market. We look forward to completing the installation and seeing the results.”

In January 2021, Norsepower announced it had installed tiltable Rotor Sails on the ro-ro vessel SC Connector. The 35-metre tall cylinders can tilt down to reduce the vessels air draught.

In November of last year, Mitsui OSK Lines announced an agreement with Vale to conduct a joint study on installing Rotor Sails on a bulk carrier.

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Source: thedcn

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