The Swedish Transport Administration has decided to allocate SEK 27 million for the development of a wind-powered car carrier during 2019-2022, with Wallenius Marine as project coordinator. The goal is to have a design ready for contracting in 2021.
"This is a project that will be realized," says Per Tunell, Chief Operating Officer, Wallenius Marine. "In a groundbreaking way, it changes the prerequisites for oceangoing sea transportation."
Research & Innovation Grant
The Swedish Transport Administration grants for research and innovation for the three-year development project are allocated according to a preliminary grant plan to the project partners. Wallenius Marine receives a total of approximately SEK 6.6 million, SSPA 14 million and KTH Royal Institute of Technology 6.5 million. The development work starts immediately at the beginning of 2019.
"This means a paradigm shift in shipping," says Jakob Kuttenkeuler, professor, Centre of Naval architecture, KTH. "Today's ships run too fast and consume a lot of fuel. It has worked with the low oil prices, but the environment has suffered. This is the world's first realisable emission-free ship concept in modern times."
This will be the first newly built oceangoing sailing vessel for commercial cargo traffic since the last steel-built square-riggers were delivered at the beginning of the 20th century. In WPCC (Wind Powered Car Carrier), it is the whole concept, that is rigging and hull, which together give a unique entity. The hull is specially designed for a sailing cargo vessel and everything must be designed with this in mind – speed, control technology, hull shape and design, cargo distribution, rig set-up, size and construction.
Other vessel types
The Wallenius Marine wind concept is intended to be applied to other types of ships in the future.
"Wallenius drives the sustainability issue and has always done so," says Per Tunell. "The industry faces enormous challenges in terms of sustainability and this type of solutions with wind powered ships on the oceans is by far the most interesting solution for achieving truly sustainable shipping."
Wallenius Marine's vision is to be able to sail emission-free in the future with its ships. This means slower transportation than today. The vessel will also be equipped with an engine. By using additional power from the engine it is possible to ensure that timetables can be kept.
Meets three objective
The Swedish Transport Administration’s investments in research and innovation in the field of transportation are divided into seven portfolios, where shipping is one. The shipping portfolio is currently the largest government-funded investment in research and innovation in the maritime sector in Sweden.
"We believe in this project and have made the assessment that it suits well in our portfolio," says Rein Jüriado, strategic director at the Swedish Transport Administration.
"We have a portfolio where we spend approximately SEK 55–60 million a year on maritime research. We see that sustainability is a big challenge and we prefer such innovative projects. It is also very enjoyable that there are three strong players who are jointly conducting this project. It has potential to become useful to society and there is the possibility of industrially applying the solutions in the long run and also gain knowledge. This means that we meet three goals that we have set up: that society, industry and academia should benefit from this project."