The Oceanbird car carrier concept started as a vision to achieve emission-free shipping. A fifty-fifty joint venture between Wallenius and Alfa Laval seeks to make it a reality. AlfaWall Oceanbird will focus on the development and realisation of technology for fully wind-powered vessel propulsion.

Wallenius and Alfa Laval have worked together before on developing the ballast water treatment PureBallast. Whereas this product tackled the problem of invasive species imported by ballast water, the concept of Oceanbird aims at reducing all emissions with up to ninety per cent compared to the most energy efficient vessels today.

Wallenius developed the Oceanbird concept in close cooperation with KTH and SSPA. In Alfa Laval it sees the right partner to realise the project.

‘Besides a successful collaboration in the past, we share the same values around sustainability. Alfa Laval has relevant engineering and production competence as well as close contact with customers,’ says Per Tunell, future CEO of the new company AlfaWall Oceanbird. ‘It was also very important for us to have a reliable global service network, to make sure that vessels of the Oceanbird concept can get necessary service wherever they are in the world.’

Also read: Wind assisted ship propulsion puts the sail back into sailing

Wing sail technology

After approval from authorities, AlfaWall Oceanbird will focus primarily on the wing sail technology and associated control systems. The company will thereby offer a new propulsion alternative to the shipping industry.

‘Wind has a key role to play in de-carbonising the marine industry. Together with Wallenius, we will harness this abundant natural force to meet both climate needs and those of maritime business,’ says Peter Nielsen, President BU Marine Separation & Heat Transfer Equipment at Alfa Laval and future chairman of the board.

Earlier, Wallenius said the Oceanbird is to set sail in late 2024.