Louis Dreyfus Prepares Juice Ship for Suction Sails

aerial view of surf
Updated Published

Wind-powered solutions are increasingly recognized as vital in the maritime industry's efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In a significant move, the agricultural heavyweight Louis Dreyfus Company, headquartered in Rotterdam, has chosen to equip its leased juice transport vessel with four innovative suction sails. These sails, a creation of the Spanish engineering company bound4blue, are set for installation on the Atlantic Orchard, a vessel from 2014 operated by Sweden's Wisby Tankers

Scheduled for retrofitting in 2024, the Atlantic Orchard will feature four eSAILs, each towering at 26 meters. This integration is anticipated to cut the vessel's fuel usage and CO2 emissions by a minimum of 10% annually. The eSAIL technology, as described by bound4blue, uses a robust aerodynamic profile combined with smart suction techniques, significantly boosting propulsive force. In fact, these sails are capable of generating lift sevenfold greater than an airplane wing.

The choice to adopt bound4blue's suction sails came after an extensive evaluation by Lloyd’s Register, a third-party assessor. This study compared various options, ultimately highlighting the suction sails as the most effective. Bound4blue has noted that these sails are versatile, fitting for a wide range of ships including tankers, bulk carriers, roll-on/roll-off vessels, gas carriers, general cargo ships, and even cruise ships and ferries, without constraints on their size or age.

This retrofit initiative is partly financed through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Acceleration Program. Earlier in the year, Louis Dreyfus Company, along with GTT, a leader in LNG containment systems, and the European Commission, contributed to bound4blue’s €15.9 million ($17 million) Series A funding round, becoming stakeholders in the process.