Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) has fitted its ro-ro vessel Ville de Bordeaux with an AirSeas kite system, as it looks to develop the use of wind propulsion technologies.

LDA Group owns, charters and operates over 100 vessels worldwide and has been searching for ways to reduce emissions along with its customer Airbus, which also owns AirSeas. The ro-ro ship, equipped with the kite system, is dedicated to the transport of Airbus parts around Europe. 

LDA recently joined the International Windship Association (IWSA), a non-profit association with over 100 members and registered supporters worldwide that works with the industry, policy makers and regulators to further the development and market uptake of wind propulsion for commercial shipping. 

“Wind assist and primary wind propulsion is increasingly being viewed as a credible, viable and economic option and we look forward to working with the LDA team to further the uptake of 21st century wind propulsion solutions for the commercial fleet,” said Gavin Allwright, IWSA secretary general.

LDA president, Edouard Louis-Dreyfus, said: “We are very excited by the development of wind solutions as a key answer to the decarbonisation challenges we are facing today and it is only natural for us to join the IWSA in its drive to further develop these technologies.”

In early 2019, LDA commenced design works for a large, transoceanic ro-ro vessel that fully integrated wind-assisted propulsion systems. It plans to continue development work in this field.

Last month, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” Line) announced its intention to install an automated kite system on one of its bulkers, as HLPFI reported here

Indeed, wind assist and primary wind propulsion offers a way to significantly reduce the amount of power required by vessels on many routes and it is likely that the shipping industry will see more companies looking at these technologies in the future.