Bound4blue is to install a 22m-high eSail on board the newbuild mixed cargo vessel Na Hiro E Pae, in a bid to help shipowner SNA Tuhaa Pae (SNA) reduce energy consumption by 10%.
Launching in 2026, the ship will mix green technology with an ambition to accelerate development of the remote Austral Islands, carrying vital supplies and up to 200 tourists on its voyages from Tahiti to the South Pacific archipelago.
The contract marks the first time Bound4blue’s solution has been selected for a newbuild vessel of this type. The eSail, designed for both retrofits and newbuilds, is a ‘suction sail’ that works by harnessing wind power to propel vessels, employing an autonomous vertical sail with suction technology, dragging air over a thin aerodynamic profile.
This process is designed to generate seven times more lift than a conventional airplane wing, resulting in exceptional propulsive efficiency and greatly reducing the load on main engines – to save fuel and cut emissions.
David Ferrer, co-founder and CTO of Bound4blue, commented, “This is standout contract for Bound4blue, marking the first time our technology has been chosen for a newbuild, after a very competitive international tender process. We believe this demonstrates the growing appreciation of our unique offer – and expertise – within the global marketplace.
“The eSail effectively provides a modern twist to the ancient tradition of harnessing the trade winds of the Southern Pacific,” he continued. “It allows this forward-thinking owner to achieve strong environmental and commercial benefits, taking advantage of an abundant renewable energy source to support a move away from fossil fuels.”
The 89m-long newbuild is set for construction at Armon Shipyard in Vigo, Spain, with naval architecture delivered by Cotenaval and consultancy by ECO.
The design of the ship centers around state-of-the-art systems and an optimized design aimed at reducing overall energy consumption, emissions and maintenance costs. The ship will be fitted with engines capable of running on biofuel or e-fuel, as soon as it becomes commercially available in the region. It also offers efficiency in terms of waste treatment, electric POD propulsion and autonomy in fresh water supply.
“The development of these beautiful islands, the sustainability of local economic activity and the overall welfare of the population depends upon a strong maritime transportation link,” said Boris Piel, technical director at SNA. “A new generation of vessel unlocks new possibilities for the communities here, and the Na Hiro E Pae has been designed to maximize that potential.
“Sustainability and environmental stewardship were at the top of our agenda. Bound4blue’s unique eSail was a market proven, mechanically robust choice. It is simple, stable, low maintenance and provides clear environmental benefits, working in tandem with the other propulsion systems to optimize power. The fact that it helps drive down opex provides a strong commercial argument. We can’t wait to sail in 2026.”
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