“We want to work with the most forward-leaning companies when it comes to developing greener technology for sea transportation. This retrofitted vessel with rotor sails is a very good starting point and we look forward to seeing what kind of opportunities this represents moving forward,” says Susanne Vinje, Head of Logistics in Hydro.
Hydro is utilizing the vessel SC Connector on its first commercial voyage for delivering goods from Norway to European customers. The shipment contains about 200 tonnes of Hydro REDUXA low-carbon aluminium. Sea-Cargo has been Hydro’s main sea transportation partner since 2015 and from 2021 they will transport all finished products from the cast houses in Norway to Europe.
Sea-Cargo expects to reduce SC Connector's fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by a quarter throughout the year. With the battery pack from Corvus Energy, the vessel can avoid the use of auxiliary engines, which means that it can be 100% emission-free during sailing and at quay.
Sailing goods to customers
The rotating cylinder technology was first used 100 years ago, but the solution is a modernized version of the Flettner rotor, a rotating cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to produce propulsion from wind.
The sails are 35-meter-tall, 5-meter-wide cylinders. The vessel´s total air draft will be 56 meters, 8 meters taller than the Statsraad Lehmkul, which is currently Norway's tallest sailing ship. It’s the first vessel in the world that can raise and lower the sails while sailing.
The first Hydro stop on its voyage was Hydro Husnes in western Norway, where aluminium products were loaded onto the vessel, destined for European customers.
“It is a truly impressive ship. We produce low-carbon aluminium and using low-carbon transportation for our products makes perfect sense. I believe this is the first time we can deliver low-carbon aluminium products to our customers using sailing technology – and hopefully we can use it more going forward,” says Johan Berg, Plant Manager at Husnes.