MOL and Vale in rotor sail retrofit agreement
Brazilian mining giant Vale International and Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) have reached an agreemen that will see two rotor sails retrofitted on a 200,000-dwt class bulk carrier, currently employed under a mid–term contract for transportation of iron ore for Vale.
The retrofit of the two 35 meters tall by 5 meter diameter rotor sails, produced by Norsepower Oy Ltd., is expected in the first half of 2024.
The Norsepower rotor sail, made of lightweight and strong composite material and with a fully automated control system, are modernized versions of Flettner rotors. The technology is based on the Magnus effect, producing thrust as the wind generates differential pressure around the rotor while the vessel is sailing. By applying this solution, combined with voyage optimization technology, the vessel is expected to achieve about 6-10% fuel and GHG emissions reductions.
Vale is one of the world’s largest charterers of bulk carriers and this rotor sail retrofit is not its first venture into the technology. Last year, a 325,000 dwt Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) newbuilding under construction in China for charter to the mining giant by PanOcean Ship Management was fitted with five Norsepower tilting rotor sails.