The First “Pure” Car Carrier Vessel, Powered by Wind, to Also Be the World’s Tallest Ship

05 07 2022 | 08:01 Otilia Drăgan

It’s been a couple of years since Wallenius Marine introduced the Oceanbird concept – a car carrier vessel that would use wind power as its main propulsion source. This year, the first ship from this concept series is getting ready to come to life. Orcelle Wind will be a pioneer in the industry, as the first wind-powered RoRo vessel in the world.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen, a global shipping expert, will turn the concept developed by the Wallenius Marine maritime consultancy specialist, into reality. Alfa Laval was the project’s first industrial partner, and is now joined by Knud E. Hansen naval architects, for building the Orcelle Wind.

Large enough to carry 7,000 vehicles, plus the additional breakbulk and rolling equipment, this innovative ship will be able to cut CO2 emissions by up to 90%. That’s because it will use mainly wind power to sail, traveling at about 12 knots (13.8 mph/22.2 kph). At a speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph) the future car carrier could cross the Atlantic in 12 days, with zero emissions.

The Oceanbird concept’s sails are no ordinary ones. They are 262-foot-tall (80 meters) which is twice the height of a mast on existing vessels. This would bring the ship’s height to a total of 344 feet (105 meters), making it the tallest ship in the world. But that’s only when this modern sail system is deployed. The wings can also be lowered, so that the massive vessel can easily access harbors or other areas with height restrictions.

Orcelle Wind, the first embodiment of the Oceanbird concept, will start being built this year, gearing up to set records as soon as it hits the waves.