Royal interest in Orcelle Wind – a real climate solution?

At an event held in Gothenburg, Sweden, 4 May, acting CEO and CFO at Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Torbjørn Wist, presented Orcelle Wind to The Crown Princess of Sweden, Victoria, The Crown Prince of Norway, Haakon Magnus and Prince Daniel of Sweden. With Orcelle Wind, Wallenius Wilhelmsen aims up to 90 percent emissions reduction compared to the best vessels today.

Orcelle Wind

The Orcelle Wind will be a full-size Roll-On/Roll-Off ship with a capacity of 7,000 cars but with up to 90 percent lower emissions compared to other ships. At 220m long and a height to the top of its wing sails of around 100m - depending on ultimate sail design - it would be the largest sailing vessel in the world. If all goes to plan, the first Orcelle Wind would enter service in 2026.

The idea was first introduced in 2005 at the World Expo in Japan. It was ahead of its time and set down a marker that Wallenius Wilhelmsen has been working towards ever since.

“Thanks to technological advances, regulatory developments and increased customer focus on emissions, we can see a path from concept to a bold and ambitious new reality.

“Taking the initiative now is of paramount importance to us - it is what best secures our growth and prosperity for the future,” said Wist in his speech.

Torbjørn Wist speech

Back to the future?

Wist also said that the importance of global growth and development is hard to overstate, as is the mutual dependency between global trade and shipping.

“At Wallenius Wilhelmsen we are proud of the contribution we have made. However, we also understand that in continuing our role, we must also do our part in combating climate change.”

Looking back at Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s long history it shows that it has made transitions before. In 1861 the sail ship Mathilde entered service for Wilhelmsen. The days of sail gave way to steam and then in the 1920s we were among the first to switch to diesel.

Similar fossil fuels have remained our energy source for 100 years, but now Wallenius Wilhelmsen believes that wind power can be a compelling option again - a true case of ‘back to the future’!

Torbjørn Wist presenting Orcelle Wind

Partnering with Volvo

Making Orcelle Wind a reality is far from being ‘just’ a technical challenge. It also requires new thinking on how to manage the transport of vehicles from factories to dealers on the other side of the world.

“I am therefore delighted to announce that one of our top customers and world-leading car producers, Volvo Cars, is ‘onboard’ as a partner with the Orcelle Wind initiative,” said Wist.

Facts on Orcelle Wind:

- Aiming for up to 90 percent emissions reduction relative to the best vessels of today. The actual reduction will depend on the prevailing conditions, the route being taken etc.

- Indicative measures:LoA (Length overall) 220m, 39.4m beam, 50-1,000m air draft, 150t stern ramp

- Min. 7,000 Car Equivalent Units (CEU). Will have greater than average capacity in our fleet, but probably less than the 8,000CEU of the HEROs and Mk V’s.

- The ‘wing’ sails are essentially vertically mounted aircraft wings. Wing sails will generate more force, be more robust and will be easier to control than the conventional alternative

- The wing sails will fold down for bridge clearance but will not be telescopic. They’ll be produced from composite materials and will have advanced computer control

- The Orcelle Wind will achieve roughly 12kts under wind power alone, but will have a auxiliary propulsion system for higher speeds, port navigation and adverse weather

- The type of auxiliary propulsion has not yet been finalised

You might also like