Eastern Pacific Shipping makes first wind propulsion move with bound4blue eSAILs

Feb 22, 2024 | Featured Article, News

Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs onboard the Pacific Sentinel. The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

 bound4blue is gaining significant industry traction for its fully autonomous eSAIL technology, with this latest agreement following similar contracts recently. Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

 José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, believes the contract with EPS marks a significant milestone for the company: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximizing both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology,” he explains.

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment. We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Working in tandem with existing propulsion systems on the Pacific Sentinel, the three eSAILs will use an autonomous control system to optimise power and reduce engine load and fuel consumption, with no need for crew input and low maintenance requirements. It is a simple, mechanically robust solution, making it an ideal fit for the needs of the Singapore-headquartered shipping giant, with an extensive fleet comprising over 250 vessels and a combined DWT of 25 million.

“EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet,” comments Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS. “Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/DWT-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

 “With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. The technology will help ships to comply with existing and upcoming regulations like improving EEDI and EEXI, enhancing its CII rating, and contributing to saved allowances within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “Wind assisted propulsion is an energy efficiency technology with a significant role to play in helping the global fleet swiftly improve its carbon intensity. As we wait for global alternative fuel infrastructure to mature, utilising a readily available and truly zero emission solution such as the wind, is a smart move. ABS is proud to support early adopters of this technology such as EPS, who are blazing a trail with this technology for the rest of the industry to follow.”