Ocean Network Express (ONE) announced the launch of a new trial to unlock the potential of wind propulsion as a sustainable solution for the maritime industry.

"Following the successful completion of a factory test, ONE, in partnership with Dutch maritime wind-powered technology experts Econowind, is set to install two containerised wind assist devices, known as VentoFoil containers, on the MV Kalamazoo. The 1,036 TEU feeder vessel operates between Pusan, Yokohama, and Honolulu, and is owned by NORSE UK and managed by Goodwood Ship Management, Singapore," says an official release.

The VentoFoils, which resemble airplane wings, are designed to harness wind energy, resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, the release added. "Each VentoFoil is equipped with a smart suction system that optimises airflow and maximises thrust, and has the potential to generate up to 400kW of power, reducing fuel consumption by five percent. They are fully automatic, adjust for wind speed and direction, and can be started from the ship bridge."

Hiroki Tsujii, Managing Director, ONE says: “ONE is committed to minimising our environmental impact and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This trial with Econowind is an important step forward in our efforts to explore innovative and sustainable solutions for the maritime industry.”

The trial, scheduled to begin in January 2024 and run for approximately six months, will be a comprehensive study with ONE closely monitoring the performance of the VentoFoils, the release said. "Data on fuel consumption, emissions reductions and overall operational efficiency will be collected. The results of the trial will be used to assess the long-term viability of wind propulsion as a sustainable shipping solution."

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