The installation of rotor sails on the tanker, Maersk Pelican, resulted in an 8.2 percent fuel saving over the course of a year, according to the wind propulsion system manufacturer Norsepower.

Norsepower, Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company installed the rotor sails on the ship in August 2018.

The companies have now revealed that from September 1, 2018 to September 1, 2019, the use of the wind propulsion system saved approximately 1,400 tonnes of CO2.

Independent experts from Lloyd’s Register’s (LR’s) Ship Performance Group have analysed and validated the performance data during the project to ensure an impartial assessment. In addition, technical and operational insights for performance studies will also be published.

Tommy Thomassen, chief technical officer at Maersk Tankers, said: “Maersk Tankers and the industry have developed and tested a number of technological solutions, which contribute to reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions. We see wind technology as one of the technologies that can give us a real breakthrough in reducing CO2 and help us achieve our emission reduction target of 30 percent by 2021.

"We will closely follow the development around the financial and commercial viability of the technology for potential future installations on some of our other larger vessels, while we have decided that Maersk Pelican will continue to sail with the rotor sails.”

Earlier this month, Wärtsilä signed a service cooperation agreement with Norsepower with the aim of promoting the use of wind propulsion systems in shipping.

Since being launched in 2014, Norsepower rotor sails have been installed on three vessels. A fourth installation is already planned for 2020.