Ultramax bulker vessel installed with Rotor Sails named 2018’s ‘Ship of the Year’

The MV Afros, an Ultramax bulk carrier fitted with Anemoi’s Rotor Sail system, has been named ‘Ship of the Year’ at the prestigious Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards 2018. The 64,000 dwt newbuild vessel, managed by Piraeus-based Blue Planet Shipping, is the first geared dry bulk carrier to be equipped with Rotor Sails (Flettner Rotors). The installation includes four Rotors which reduce vessel fuel consumption at sea and, uniquely, when in port can be moved along the deck clear of cargo handling gear, preventing any impact on port operations.

The SDARI designed vessel was built by China’s Jiangsu Haitong Offshore Engineering Co. Ltd. and delivered in January 2018. The vessel is classed by Lloyd’s Register and registered in the Marshall Islands. The MV Afros is also fitted with a Ship Energy Efficiency Management System consisting of variable frequency drives for primary pumps and fans, significantly reducing onboard power needs.

The Rotor Sail system was designed and installed by British company Anemoi Marine Technologies (Anemoi) based in London. Rotor Sails utilise the aerodynamic phenomenon known as the Magnus Effect to provide useful propulsion to the vessel by harnessing wind power to enhance vessel efficiency, reducing net fuel consumption and lowering harmful exhaust emissions. This installation on a globally trading bulker making long trans-oceanic voyages is yielding invaluable data regarding Rotor performance and optimisation. Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion promises significant fuel savings when operating on routes with the most favourable wind conditions.

Anemoi have successfully met the significant challenges of installing this technology on bulkers, with the Rotor Sails movable to allow access to cargo holds. Anemoi systems are also suitable for installation on other types and sizes of vessel.

A spokesperson for Blue Planet Shipping commented on winning the award:

It was a big step being the first to adopt this system, but we have seen a marked reduction in fuel consumption, and proven efficiencies have been made in the operation of the vessel. This award recognises that environmental innovation does not have to come at the expense of commercial viability for the shipping industry.  
It’s a great honour to be recognised by the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards. There has been significant momentum building in wind technologies over the past few years and this award recognises the hard work of all those involved in this project. This is a positive result for the advancement of Flettner Rotor technology and more broadly, innovations in renewable energy sources for the commercial shipping industry. Blue Planet have demonstrated throughout that actions speak louder than words and have proved their commitment to discovering new ways in reducing the impact of shipping operations on the environment.  
Nick Contopoulos
Director, Anemoi

The Lloyd’s List Greek Awards evening had a topical edge this year, themed to reflect the shipping industry’s current need to prepare for an era of lower emissions and new fuels. High on the agenda for every shipping company is the need to comply with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) new sulphur emissions regulations due into force in January 2020, which may increase bunkering costs. Beyond 2020, the IMO target for a 50% reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in shipping by 2050 will require the development and wide adoption of new technologies. As a way of harnessing renewable energy from the wind, Rotor Sails can make a major contribution.

Anemoi are now planning future installations to further demonstrate the viability of this technology for to shipowners and operators. For more information about the Anemoi Rotor Sail System and its installation on-board the MV Afros, a video showing the system in action here:

The Lloyd’s List’s Greek Shipping Awards is one of the major maritime events held in Greece each year. The event was hosted by award-winning Greek television broadcaster Andriana Paraskevopoulou and Lloyd’s List correspondent Nigel Lowry.