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Wallenius Wilhelmsen orders the first Oceanbird-vessel

17 February 2021

Wallenius Wilhelmsen will build a wind-powered car carrier that will be in service by 2025. Named Orcelle Wind, the ship builds on the Oceanbird concept developed by Lighthouse members Wallenius Marine, KTH and SSPA.

This afternoon, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, with the help of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, presented the news that next year the company will be ready to place an order of ship that will be able to carry 7,000 cars and sail at 10 - 12 knots.

Of course, many challenges remain, but by adding their vast knowledge of ro-ro operations to Wallenius Marine's expertise, they are convinced that they will succeed.

#We built the first ro-ro ferries 40-50 years ago and will follow normal processes. We would never put anything into production that is not fully tested and certified”, said Erik Noeklebye at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

Orcelle Wind is mainly driven forward with the help of enormous height-adjustable wind power structures that have a sail height of 100 meters. In order to be able to keep timetables in bad sailing weather, the ship is also equipped with an engine. Exactly what type and what fuel it will use is still unclear.

“Of course, we must find new fuel types that fix the future for us. A lot of research on climate-neutral fuels is going on alongside this project. We see hydrogen as one of the alternatives, but also ammonia and different types of biofuels”, said Erik Noeklebye.

According to Wallenius Wilhelmsen, the actual design work of the ship, which will be 220 meters long and 40 meters wide, is in the final phase. The financing then? Of course, it still remains to be arranged, CEO Craig Jasienski admitted without being particularly concerned.

“A ship like this will of course be more expensive than others, but it is a price we are willing to pay and I also think that the market is.”

“I’m really looking forward to the yards coming to us and saying they want to be the first ones to build a vessel which is going to significantly shift the needle in terms of carbon emissions. I hope that yards are preparing themselves for this now because this is the future and we have to find different ways to solve the energy demands that we have and to reduce the carbon emissions on the way”, Craig Jasienski concluded.

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