American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has joined the International Windship Association (IWSA), the not-for-profit organisation that promotes and helps facilitate the uptake of direct wind propulsion solutions for commercial shipping.
ABS has become increasingly involved with wind propulsion over the last few years and released their guidelines for Wind Assisted Propulsion System Installation in June 2020. This commitment to developing a robust wind propulsion segment has also manifested itself in ABS taking a lead role in the delivery of the WiSP initiative, a joint industry project established to help overcome barriers to the uptake of wind-assisted propulsion, improving prediction and validation methods and reviewing and recommending changes to the regulatory framework as these pertain to wind assist systems.
“Wind propulsion solutions are one of the key low hanging fruit when it comes to decarbonising shipping. Through our work with WiSP and other projects we are endeavouring to work closely with multiple stakeholders in the wind propulsion segment to help make it a robust and credible technology. Joining and working with IWSA and its members is the natural next step and we are looking forward to continuing this voyage together,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.
ABS’s membership announcement comes at a crucial period in the cycle of development for wind propulsion systems as it starts to emerge into the market as a propulsive solution that has significant advantages. As an energy source it is widely available around the world and doesn’t require any new infrastructure thus providing a significant source of zero-emissions propulsive energy for the commercial fleet. Systems are increasingly becoming available and there is a strong pipeline of new systems under development and proven savings are already in 5-20% range with further optimisation to come. There are also a number of primary wind propulsion vessels that will likely enter the fleet in the next couple of years.
“We are delighted to welcome ABS onboard and the team there bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the association. IWSA is a member driven organisation and the membership is looking forward to working alongside ABS on the various wind propulsion projects going forward.” commented Gavin Allwright, IWSA Secretary General
With the number of large wind-assisted vessels entering double figures in 2020, and covering multiple segments of the shipping industry from tankers and bulkers though to ferry/cruise, RoRo’s and general cargo vessels, the scene seems increasingly set for a wind-assisted transition ahead.