Alfa Laval and Wallenius have finalised its AlfaWall Oceanbird joint venture that aims to take wind propulsion technology from a marine concept to commercial reality.


The Oceanbird system uses wing sails, which the joint venture said has more in common with modern aircraft than traditional sailing ships. Fully applied it can reduce emissions by 90 percent on the largest ocean-going vessels.

Niclas Dahl has been named managing director of the venture. He previously served vice president of marine separation and heat transfer equipment at Alfa Laval. Overseeing Oceanbird’s development builds upon his experience in sustainable solutions, having worked for several years on the development and launch of Alfa Laval PureBallast, a ballast water treatment solution that was also created in partnership with Wallenius.

“COP26 put the need for accessible technology in the spotlight,” said Dahl. “Decarbonising shipping is imperative, and wind is a free source of power with a substantial role to play, and minimum need of infrastructure.”

He added: “As the enthusiasm for wind power grows, we are moving rapidly to build on what we have achieved. Our next wing sail prototype is on the horizon, and we are on target to have a transatlantic car carrier fully propelled by Oceanbird technology in 2025.”

Dahl expects further vessel designs and retrofit applications to follow, sooner rather than later. “Wind is an opportunity we must seize now. There’s simply no time to waste in phasing out fossil fuels.”