Boomsma Shipping signs contract with Econowind

Even with the restrictions and challenges that face the shipping industry at the moment, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the low oil prices, wind assisted propulsion solutions are still making headway. Econowind and Boomsma Shipping announced their collaboration earlier this month with the installation of two VentiFoils on one of Boomsma’s vessels. The installation of the system is scheduled for September 2020, barring any delays given the current situation. The installation will then be monitored and evaluated throughout 2021.

“We believe it is necessary and very important to accept sustainability challenges to reduce our environmental footprint. Together with the IMO decarbonization goals for 2050 we want to do our part to reduce our fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as soon as possible.” states Johan Boomsma, co-owner of Boomsma Shipping. “With the help of the Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion (WASP) project we will install this innovative technology on one of our vessels and research the actual operations. And monitor the savings, which are expected to be in the region of 10%. Doing so, we will contribute to an environmentally friendlier shipping industry.”

The VentiFoils (Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion Units) by Econowind are designed as optimal compact (non-rotating) wing profiles, creating superior thrust by means of the principle of boundary-layer-suction, for which ventilators are mounted inside the VentiFoils. The VentiFoils are integrated in a specially designed Flatrack from which a folded VentiFoil can be deployed. Due to the generated thrust by the VentiFoils, the thrust of the propeller can be reduced to maintain the same speed leading to fuel savings and emission reductions.

“We are delighted to move onto the installation stage of the project, working hand-in-hand with the team at Boomsma Shipping. The new Flatrack design has the flexibility of a container, being movable by the hatch crane, needs limited installation time and has possibility for use on several vessels.” Frank Nieuwenhuis, CEO of Econowind, summarizes.

Come along on a wind-assisted ride 

During the docking of the MV Ankie of Jan van Dam Shipping in January 2020 at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard, the first retrofit Econowind Ventifoil wind-assisted system was installed. This installation featured two, 10-meter wings that will generate significant force allowing the vessel to reduce motor power and thus save energy. In a second step, the units will be extended by a further six meters. The 3,600 DWT general cargo vessel MV Ankie, made its first voyage with the two wings installed, sailing for Wagenborg from Delfzijl to Hamburg, onwards to Norway and then back to Rotterdam.

The deployment of the Econowind Ventifoil can be clearly seen in this time lapse video aboard the MV Ankie. This 3,600DWT general cargo vessel of Van Dam Shipping is operating in the North Sea. The installation was done as part of the WASP project

This first voyage is a big step for Jan van Dam, who has been hoping to combine modern shipping with wind propulsion for almost 40 years. “We expect to show in the WASP research project this first step will be economically feasible. We are hoping to set the next steps as well in a new-to-build ship in the coming years, getting step-by-step into low and even zero emission shipping” Jan van Dam states.

For Econowind it was the first commercial installation of their Ventifoil system. The wind-assisted system was developed over the past three years supported by an EU backed grant and this first voyage marks a significant milestone for the company in bringing their technology to a shipping market eager to deploy credible decarbonization solutions. “We are confident that such an innovative company as van Dam Shipping will manage to get the most out of the system and we are really excited to share the results in the coming months.” stated Frank Nieuwenhuis, CEO of Econowind. Both Econowind and van Dam Shipping are convinced the Ventifoils will give significant savings and thus be an important solution to help shipping reach the IMO decarbonization goals for 2030 and 2050.

About the WASP project

The WASP (Wind Assisted Ship Propulsion) project, funded by the Interreg North Sea Europe programme, part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the tune of €5.4 million. The project brings together universities, wind-assist technology providers with ship owners to research, trial and validate the operational performance of a selection of wind propulsion solutions thus enabling wind propulsion technology market penetration and contributing to a greener North Sea transport system through harvesting the regions abundant wind potential. This fully aligns with the wider programmes’ objective of promoting the development and adoption of products, services and processes to accelerate the greening of the North Sea Region. 

The project has 15 partners from 7 different countries within the North Sea Region, to be more specific: The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom. Both Boomsma Shipping as Scheepvaartbedrijf Van Dam are partners in the project. Netherlands Maritime Technology Foundation is lead beneficiary and has the overall responsibility for the project.

Read more about the project and its progress >>

About Econowind

Econowind is a Dutch based company related to HCP and Conoship international and fully dedicated to wind-assisted ship propulsion. Econowind developed the prize winning eConowind-unit. With support in the form of a subsidy by the European Union and the three northern Dutch counties (SNN) with the VIA funding for regional development.
The subsidized project ended mid-2019 with the test execution of the complete working prototype on a vessel at different sea states. The market introduction started in 2019 and the system has since then been further developed as retrofitted Ventifoils directly to ships. From late 2019 Econowind participates in a WASP-study of application of the unit in regular sea services.

Read more about Econowind and its services >>

Podcast Aronnax

In this episode Fathom World editorial director talks to co-owner Frank Nieuwenhuis and technical director and system inventor Guus van der Bles from Dutch solution provider Econowind, about the system , its abilities and how they see wind solutions being used in a decarbonised shipping industry.

More details about this podcast can be found here