Innovative project

Car carriers hoist their sails to the wind

by Port News Editorial Staff

A new car carrier will be ready to hoist its sails to the wind. Literally. The Oceanbird, is being developed by a Swedish consortium that includes, among others, Wallenius Marine, KTH Centre for Naval Architecture and the naval technology developer SSPA.

The ship will see the light over the next four years. It will be powered by wind energy. The vessel will be able to carry up to 7000 vehicles and will have sails more than twice the height as those currently mounted on the largest sailing ships: 80 meters high, which can be reduced to 50 in case of bad weather conditions.

“The project demonstrates that zero emission shipping is an achievable goal. Just use the wind as the main energy source” said a spokesman of the Consortium.

The car carrier, 200 meters long, will, however, sail at a reduced speed and will take about 12 days to cross the Atlantic, five days longer than conventional vessels.

Interested shipping companies can order a Wind Powered Car Carrier by the end of next year. The project promoted by the Consortium will be financed by the Swedish Transport Administration.

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