Wallenius Wilhelmsen Secures Funding for Wind-Powered RoRo Vessel

Pure Car Truck Carrier Slated to Start Sailing in Late-2026, Early-2027

Norway-based shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen and its project partners have won €9 million worth of EU funding to support the construction of the world’s first wind-powered RoRo vessel, the Orcelle Wind.

The funding was awarded under Horizon Europe, the EU’s main funding programme for research and innovation, and divided between the project’s eleven partners. The project will now enter its planning, building and operating phases, set to last five years.

“The Horizon Europe funding shows the concept stood up to the scrutiny of the EU funding authorities and that they had the confidence to give it their support,” said Roger Strevens, VP Global Sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

“The EU Funding project is based on a collaborative approach – we need strong partners to lead the way to zero emissions as soon as possible. We are proud to have a group of the best technical, operational, and academic partners, as well as one of our key customers, for the project. All have committed to working together to help make Orcelle Wind a reality.”

Orcelle Wind is a wind-powered Pure Car Truck Carrier and the first vessel based on the Oceanbird concept developed by maritime consultancy, Wallenius Marine.

The vessel, a key part of Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s fleet decarbonization strategy, will be 220 metres long and boast a capacity to hold 7,000 cars. It will also be capable of carrying breakbulk and rolling equipment.

A key part of the funding project will be the installation of the wing sail test rig on one of the carrier’s existing vessels during mid-2024, the carrier said. The vessel is expected to start sailing in late 2026 or early 2027.

Partners in the EU Horizon funding programme:

- Wallenius Wilhelmsen, project coordinator

- Wallenius Marine, a ship design and ship management company in Sweden

- AlfaWall Oceanbird, a 50-50 joint venture of Alfa Laval and Wallenius specializing in developing technology for wind-powered vessel propulsion

- Volvo Cars, leading car manufacturer

- StormGeo, a world-leading weather forecasting service provider

- Maritime CleanTech, an organization representing the Norwegian Maritime Cluster, focusing on sustainable innovation projects with commercial potential

- DNV, an international accredited registrar and classification society based in Norway

- RISE Maritime, part of the Research Institutes of Sweden

- KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden’s largest technical university

- UGent, a public research university in Ghent, Belgium

- NTUA, an engineering university in Athens, Greece