Finnish designed rotor sails that will be fitted to the Northern Lights project’s two CO2 carrier newbuildings will reduce the fuel and CO2 emissions from each vessel by approximately 5%, according to sail supplier Norsepower.

Finland’s Norsepower said it had signed a contract with Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co to supply a single 28 x 4-metre rotor sail to each of the 7,500-cbm LNG dual-fuel CO2 carrier newbuildings.

The company described its sail as “a modernised version of the Flettner rotor, a spinning cylinder that uses the Magnus effect to harness wind power and generate thrust – reducing both fuel consumption and emissions.”

The two rotor sails will be delivered in early 2023.

The two CO2 carriers for Northern Lights — a joint venture between energy giants Equinor, Shell and TotalEnergies — are scheduled for handover the following year.

When the vessels were ordered the project partners said they would be fitted with technologies, such as wind-assisted propulsion and air lubrication systems to reduce the ships’ carbon intensity by around 34%

The innovative duo will be used to ship captured and liquefied CO2 from European emitters and carry it to the Northern Lights receiving terminal in Norway’s Oygarden.

Norsepower chief executive Tuomas Riski said: “.. we are seeing the industry seeking to build vessels today which already have proven energy efficiency solutions onboard which can reduce fuel consumption, the associated costs as well as reduce emissions.

“As fuel prices increase and a carbon levy is initiated, getting newbuild vessels as efficient as possible is essential for long-term commercial success,” Riski added.

This initiative also highlights the role that cleaner shipping has within complex supply chains and decarbonisation strategies outside of the immediate industry.