K Line Renews Push for Wind Propulsion in Decarbonisation Efforts

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday May 25, 2020

Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line) has joined industry group the International Windship Association (IWSA) as part if its latest efforts to push wind propulsion as a means of cutting its carbon footprint.

"[T]hey are sending a clear message to the industry and policy makers that wind propulsion is a credible, viable and increasingly attractive solution, especially as fuel prices bounce back," IWSA said in an emailed statement.

As reported last year, "K" Line is currently testing a SeaWing kite sail from Airbus spin-off AirSeas on one of its large bulk carriers. It has now signed an option for a further 50 installations for their fleet next year.

"Joining IWSA is a great opportunity for our company," Atsuo Asano, senior managing executive officer at K Line, said in the statement.

"Through IWSA activities, maritime stakeholders can create a big scrum, pushing together towards the uptake of direct wind power applications for commercial ships."

Interest in wind power has been growing for a number of years now as it is increasingly seen as a viable solution to help the industry meet its IMO 2030 and IMO 2050 GHG reduction targets.

With the long-term use of fossil bunker fuels seemingly untenable, but the replacement future marine fuel mix uncertain, a particular attraction of wind propulsion is it provides energy and emissions savings regardless of the fuel type or propulsion-power solution being used.

IWSA says wind propulsion systems retrofitted to ships as part of their energy mix can deliver 5-20% of the propulsive energy required by large vessels, while others claim is can be part of a wider suite of solutions delivering 80% energy savings.