Three new methanol-fuelled ro-ro cargo vessels ordered by global engineering company Airbus last year will be fitted with rotor sails from Finland's Norsepower.
The ships, being built by France's Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, will each be equipped with six 35 m rotor sails, Norsepower said in a statement on its website last week.
The new fleet will reduce CO2 emissions by about 50% compared to its predecessors in 2023 by 2030. The ships are due to enter service from 2026.
"This fleet-wide deal is a game changer for the whole auxiliary wind propulsion industry," Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said in the statement.
"Firstly, it is the biggest deal ever made in the mechanical sails market – and, in a world first, it includes our brand new Norsepower Sentient Control tool.
"We are honoured that the first charterer to utilise this advanced control system is Airbus, the foremost expert in aerodynamics in the world.
"We thank LDA and Airbus for being forerunners of this industry – and look forward to our continued cooperation."
Wind-assisted propulsion systems are gaining in popularity in the shipping industry as a means of cutting bunker consumption and GHG emissions. The systems are likely to become more widespread once shipping companies start to take on much more expensive alternative bunker fuels, making energy-saving systems more profitable.