During the docking of the MS Annika Braren, part of the Rörd Braren fleet, at the SEC shipyard in Leer, Germany, a wind rotor from the Leer based Eco-Flettner company was successfully installed on the one year old vessel.
The new rotor system is designated as type “EF 18”, it is 18 meters high and has a diameter of three meters and is installed on the bow of the 86-meter-long. 5,035DWT multi-purpose freighter along with it’s weather station and automated operating system. The ground work and foundation plate for the 27 ton rotor system were installed back in Q4, 2020 now followed by the installation and testing of the rotor itself after some understandable delays due to the Covid situation. The EF18 rotor is delivered with a Type Approval Design Certificate (TADC) from the classification society DNV. Twelve working days are planned for installation and commissioning of the rotor.
“We are delighted to see this installation now in place and ready for commercial operation, especially as the installation went without a hitch. We will of course be monitoring the performance of the rotor carefully and we are looking forward to many more installations of our rotors in the future.” states Ralf Oltmanns, CEO of Eco Flettner GmbH.
After some final checks, the German flagged Annika Braren departed on her maiden wind-assisted voyage. The captain of the vessel. Captain Julian Plaisant is eager to put the newly outfitted ship through her paces: “Myself and the crew are really interested to see how the ship performs with the rotor installed and we have already seen that the system seems to be a really solid piece of equipment and easy to operate, but that will be put to the test in real conditions now.”
The MS Annika Braren will be operating throughout the North Sea region and being a relatively new vessel, the addition of the rotor sail makes her particularly environmentally friendly by saving fuel and reducing the ships emissions. It is this double benefit that attracted Rörd Braren to engage with wind-assisted propulsion with this installation backed and partly funded by the EU WASP (Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion) project, which is funded itself by the Interreg North Sea Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and brings together universities and wind-assist technology providers with ship owners to research, trial and validate the operational performance of a selection of wind propulsion solutions.
Anna Braren, managing director of Rörd Braren Bereederung adds: “This is a big project for our company and one that we are convinced will bring substantial benefits to the company, but also help to showcase the technology for other shipowners and to contribute to lowering emissions in the region and globally. That sustainability approach is in the DNA of our company and we are very proud to see the ship embark on her wind-assist maiden voyage.”