Høglund Marine takes two-thirds stake in wind-assisted car carrier project

Høglund Marine takes two-thirds stake in wind-assisted car carrier project
The Vindskip car-carrier vessel design uses a unique body design alongside LNG/LBG to produce the lowest possible emissions for its market segment. Image courtesy of Vindskip.

Marine technology provider Høglund Marine Solutions has taken a two-thirds stake in Vindskip, a company developing a wind and liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessel concept. The collaboration will play a vital role in bringing the concept to reality.

Børge Nogva, president of Høglund, has also become chairman of the board at Vindskip AS.

Vindskip (which translates to ‘Wind ship’ in English) is a vessel design project for a car/truck carrier that combines wind and gas power to achieve the lowest possible emissions in its market segment.

With a majority share in Vindskip AS, Høglund will bring the company’s experience and expertise from providing LNG and automation solutions to the Vindskip project. Alongside co-owners and fellow Norwegian electric propulsion provider, STADT AS, Høglund will supply LNG fuel system, power management and automation technology.

The Vindskip design uses the shape of the hull to act like a sail, harnessing the wind to generate traction and provide auxiliary propulsion, while also reducing aerodynamic drag by up to 75 per cent compared to a traditional vessel design. The vessel will incorporate a weather routing module (WRM) that will calculate and recommend the most appropriate route for the vessel to take to harness the full potential of available wind conditions, optimising for fuel economy while meeting ETA. As well as using wind, the vessel concept will also be powered by a flexible hybrid electric-LNG propulsion system, which could use biogas (LBG) to further reduce GHG emissions. Dynamic engine management – which Høglund will be instrumental in developing and supplying – will optimise engine output to minimise excess fuel burn according to wind conditions and maintain constant speed.

It is estimated that the Vindskip design will emit 63 per cent less CO2 and 96 per cent less NOx than similar capacity car-carrying vessels currently in service. As the market for low-emission and electric road vehicles expands, the car carrying sector will need to reflect the manufacturers increasing focus on environmental sustainability.

Børge Nogva, president of Høglund Marine Solutions and chairman of Vindskip, said: “With the pressure on shipping to reduce GHG emissions increasing, it is more important than ever to demonstrate how innovative we can be in meeting this critical environmental challenge. I’m delighted that Høglund’s role in the development of the Vindskip concept has increased, which will allow us to collaborate and bring our expertise to this unique and innovative project. Wind-assisted propulsion has great potential – but it needs careful integration of hardware and software to realise.

Terje Lade, manager of Vindskip, commented: “It’s great to have Høglund’s support for the Vindskip project. As an industry, we need to start turning emissions-reducing ideas into reality, and effective collaboration will be critical. I’m thrilled that Høglund is bringing their expertise to the project, which is setting a precedent of environmentally sound vessel design in the car-carrying sector and beyond.

Hallvard Slettevoll, CEO of STADT and joint owners of Vindskip said: “The Vindskip design concept represents one of the boldest steps in vessel design in a generation as well as a significant engineering challenge. By successful development of the project through collaboration, we will help the car-carrying sector lead the way in reflecting the efforts other industries are making in building low-emissions designs for a greener future by using the Lean Propulsion as a vital part of the Vindskip propulsion arrangement.