Netherlands-based eConowind and Schram Shipping have announced their collaboration in a project to participate in research to optimise wind assisted propulsion and install two of eConowind’s 16m tall wind-assist VentiFoil units by the end of 2021. These will be retrofitted on the 89.9m, 5,097dwt general cargo vessel Anna built in 2008.
VentiFoils are wing shaped elements that are deployed vertically on the ship. They feature vents and an internal fan that use boundary layer suction for maximum effect and creating very high propelling force relative to its size. eConowind has developed deck-mounted, containerised and folding variations of the basic design.
“When we realised the possibility of retrofitting a wind assist unit and how we can save CO2 emissions on our current ship, I was very enthusiastic right away: working with the wind instead of fighting the wind all the time. We always want to be innovative with our currently running vessels. The installation is relatively simple, and operations are hardly impacted at all, so we just want to do this now, joining the research,” stated Gerrit Schram, co-owner of Schram Shipping. “We will make this move as a “natural following step“ in being a cost effective operator.”
Schram also involved his Commercial Manager, Vertom, to see how this project could support the whole group in which he operates. Thomas van Meerkerk of Vertom said, “We are very happy Schram Shipping, who has been sailing for Vertom for over 20 years now, signed this agreement for this Ventifoil project as the first ship of the almost 100 ships in our operations. We will follow the process closely and will study the results of the research to see what it can bring us in the future.”
Frank Nieuwenhuis, CEO of eConowind added “We are delighted to add Schram shipping to our customer base and we will get experience in this project on more long-haul shipping, such as the Anna operating frequently on the route from Rotterdam to Spain and the Mediterranean area. Gerrit is a hands-on entrepreneur keen on clean but economical operation. We call this Econology!”