Wilson will have a kite propulsion system

Bergen-based Wilson ASA has become the first Norwegian shipping company to order SkySails propulsion.

This environmentally friendly towing-kite propulsion system is scheduled to be installed on the vessel “Wilson Grip” next year. "Wilson has high expectations that SkySails on Wilson Grip will prove to be an environmental and economic success for further Wilson vessels," says Oyvind Gjerde of Wilson ASA.

“This sale to Wilson gives SkySails the opportunity of thoroughly examining how SkySails propulsion performs during practical use in the conditions on the nothern North Sea and the Norwegian Sea,“ added SkySails founder and managing director Stephan Wrage.

The MV “Wilson Grip” is 88 meters long, has deadweight of 3,700 tons and produces nearly 1,500 kW of power. The ship will be outfitted with a SKS C 160 SkySails (160-square-meter). With a good wind a SkySails system of this size can generate up to 8 tons of tractive force. For comparison: the “Wilson Grip” needs about 11 tons of thrust to reach its cruising speed of 11 knots.

SkySails propulsion is currently in use on two cargo ships belonging to the carriers Wessels and Beluga Shipping as part of pilot testing being conducted along several different shipping routes. SkySails will begin series production in 2009 and its manufacturing capacity has already been booked for one year in advance.

SkySails propulsion can save an average of 10 to 35% of the fuel costs on cargo ships depending on wind conditions. Some 60,000 of the approximately 100,000 ships worldwide are suitable for being retrofitted with this kind of towing-kite propulsion system. A systematic global use of SkySails technology could save more than 150 million tons of climate-damaging CO2 emissions every year.    

Source: Sky Sails