Denmark-headquartered ferry operator Scandlines has opted to install a rotor sail on board a second vessel in its fleet after equipping the hybrid ferry Copenhagen with its first wind auxiliary propulsion unit in 2020.

Berlin, a sister vessel to Copenhagen, also operates on the Rostock-Gedser route but, unlike Copenhagen, is flagged by Germany.

Scandlines has had more than a year to collect data on how the Norsepower rotor sail works on Copenhagen, and what effect it has on the route.

Scandlines’ COO, Michael Guldmann Petersen, said, “We expected the M/V Copenhagen rotor sail to provide a 4-5% CO2 reduction. That expectation has been met, so we have now taken the next step and prepared the sister ferry M/V Berlin for installation.

“Our route across the Baltic Sea is north/south bound, and the prevailing wind is from the west or east. In other words, our Rotor Sails have optimal conditions.”

Several of Scandlines’ other green initiatives on the way to emissions-free ferries are not visible to the outside world, as they are below the water surface. A rotor sail that protrudes 30 meters into the air, on the other hand, is a very clear signal of a green vision.

“There has generally been a lot of interest in the rotor sail—and in the beginning even wonder among the passengers about the ‘chimney.’ Most of the crew are now also masters of technical explanations that are easy to understand,” Petersen said.

Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said, “Sail technology is technically applicable to approximately 30,000 vessels in the current global fleet of ships and we hope that this is a further signal to ship owners and operators that confidence is growing in wind propulsion technology.”  

The preparation for the rotor sail includes building a steel foundation on the ferry, on which the rotor sail will be fixed. The initial work took place when the Berlin was on a planned yard stay at Remontowa in Poland at the end of May. The installation of the rotor sail itself is scheduled for 2022.

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