Industry News

Hapag-Lloyd looks deeper into wind propulsion for new boxships


GERMAN carrier Hapag-Lloyd has been studying wind propulsion options for newbuilds.

The Hamburg-headquartered liner has unveiled a newbuilding concept design of a ship with a capacity of 4,500 TEU featuring eight sails with a total sail area of 3,000 square metres.

The six rear sails are extendable, and the two front ones retractable. According to the team behind the design, this helps to not hinder cargo operations in port and to protect the sail system from damage as well as to avoid any limitations such as bridges.

Earlier this year, the company partnered up with Boris Herrmann and his Team Malizia and launched a concept study for a 4,500 TEU ship with wind-assisted propulsion system. The concept study is expected to be finalized in the coming months and will give the company a basis for the next steps.

"Hapag Lloyd has been working for some time on the issue of wind-assisted ship propulsion and how this could be realized in technical terms. But since this technology isn't ready for the market yet, we think it's important to expand our studies on it," Christoph Thiem, director strategic assets projects at Hapag-Lloyd, said in an interview.

"Some shipping companies have come up with concept designs for wind-powered container ships that look very futuristic. But, to me, our designs seem more realistic," Martin Kopke, manager regulatory affairs & sustainability at Hapag-Lloyd, commented.

The liner company added it is in discussions with other companies such as Swiss freight trader Cargill to exchange ideas on wind-assisted propulsion technology. In the future, Cargill will charter fully electric, wind-assisted vessels to reduce emissions.

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