Green Sailing Ship for Marshall Islands: Beacon of Eco-Innovation

November 22, 2023by CN_MAR

An eco-friendly sailing ship destined for the Marshall Islands has been successfully launched in South Korea. The Pacific Island supply vessel’s unveiling ceremony took place at Asia Shipbuilding in Geoje, South Korea, on November 15, 2023. 

Earlier this year, the shipyard hosted a keel-laying ceremony for the vessel, marking its significance as a versatile platform for trade, research, and training for the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 

Financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) as part of the German government’s commitment to international climate finance, the project is a collaboration between the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the research unit at the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer (HEL), SDC Ship Design & Consult, Kostec, and the Marshall Islands Shipping Corporation (MISC). Briese Research from Leer is also participating in the project, providing support for the construction supervision and commissioning of the ship. 

The ambitious goal of the project partners is to achieve an 80% reduction in emissions, ultimately aiming for climate neutrality. The vessel incorporates an efficient sail system and photovoltaic (PV) units for onboard power generation. 

Prof. Captain Michael Vahs from Emden/Leer University, overseeing technological development as a project partner, expressed excitement about the project’s progress, stating, “Despite the relatively simple and cost-effective construction concept, there are many innovations in the ship that are exemplary for future zero-emission shipping.” 

The 48-meter-long and 300 dwt island supplier for the Marshall Islands features a partially automated sailing system of the INDOSAIL type. Developed originally for Indonesia in Hamburg by shipbuilding engineer Peter Schenzle (HSVA), the sailing system was adapted to local requirements, enabling the ship to reach speeds of up to approximately 12 knots with a sail area of around 500 square meters. 

Excess sailing power is harnessed by a propeller, recuperating and supplying the onboard electrical system via a hybrid transmission with an attached generator. A robust battery pack serves as storage. Additionally, a diesel engine with an output of approximately 250 kW ensures the ship’s required minimum speed of 7 knots, even without sail propulsion and under rough sea conditions. 

Future plans include the potential use of regionally produced biodiesel as the ship’s fuel. Technical highlights encompass a powerful PV system for onboard power supply and new wing keels developed at the Maritime Technical Center at Emden/Leer University, aiming to enhance sailing efficiency and course stability. 

The collaboration with HEL is expected to extend to further newbuildings, offering the innovative ship concept in various sizes and configurations according to customer requirements. This includes a variant with fully automated Flettner rotors. 


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