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Finnish propulsion systems company Norsepower has entered a deal to deliver its rotor sail solution to Viking Line, making the shipping operator the first to have a global LNG/wind electric propulsion-hybrid vessel.

The rotor sail technology will be installed onboard the LNG-fuelled cruise ferry M/S Viking Grace currently operated by Viking Line between Turku, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.

The 57,565 gross tonne vessel is expected to reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 900t, as well as lower fuel burn and costs as a result of the solution's installation.

Total reductions are predicted to be equivalent to cutting 300t of LNG fuel annually.

Installation of the medium-sized 24m-height, 4m-diameter Norsepower unit is scheduled to take place by the second quarter of next year.

"This project marks the first of its kind; a modern auxiliary wind-propulsion technology installation onboard a cruise ferry."

Norsepower CEO Tuomas Riski said: “This project marks the first of its kind; a modern auxiliary wind-propulsion technology installation onboard a cruise ferry.

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“As a Finnish-based clean technology and engineering company, we are proud to be partnering with yet another prominent shipping company as we work towards a modern era of auxiliary wind propulsion for the global maritime fleet, while supporting shipping’s transition to the low-carbon economy.”

Norsepower also noted that its rotor sail solution is suitable for both installation on board new vessels and retrofitting on existing ships.

The fully automated solution is a modified version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power for propulsion purposes, and is designed to sense whenever the wind is strong enough to deliver fuel savings.

Image: Illustration of Viking Grace with a Norsepower Rotor Sail. Photo: courtesy of Norsepower Oy Ltd.