Swedish firm Berg Propulsion will supply dual-fuel engine systems for three of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) wind-assisted ro-ro newbuilds.

The ships, which will be delivered by China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding from 2026 onwards, have been designed by Deltamarin with the aim of halving fuel burn and CO2 emissions in transatlantic operations by 2030 compared to a 2023 baseline. 

Six Flettner rotor sails on each ship deck will support emissions reduction targets by converting wind into thrust, while weather routing optimisation software will maximise wind-assisted time and minimise drag. In conventional mode, the ships will run on dual-fuel methanol engines. 

Optimising propulsion performance consistently will rely on integrated power management and propulsion systems from Berg. As well as the complete propulsion train to work with each ship’s main engines, Berg will supply state-of-the-art controllable pitch propellers with feathering capability. 

According to Amrita Singh, account manager at Berg Propulsion, the hybrid solution allows main engines and electric motors to drive propulsion either independently or simultaneously so that the most efficient power option is used as a vessel’s operational needs change. “The system works with alternative power sources, including wind,” said Singh. “It’s key when integrating sails that they work seamlessly with propulsion controls so that adjustments can be made to thrust in any given weather and sea condition.” 

The vessels will carry Airbus A320 aircraft subassemblies from Saint-Nazaire, France to the final assembly line in Mobile, Alabama, USA. Airbus commissioned LDA to build, own and operate three vessels last year.