OREANDA-NEWS. Denmark's Maersk Tankers, in collaboration with Finnish engineering company Norsepower,the UK's Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell, will install and test rotor sails onboard one of its product tankers.

The rotor sails will be retrofitted on a 109,647 dwt tanker during the first half of 2018. The vessel will undergo operational and fuel savings testing at sea until the end of 2019.

There are two sails made out of lightweight, composite materials, each is 30 meters tall by 5 meters diameter. The sails are expected to reduce marine fuel consumption by 7-10pc.

The project is majority funded by ETI with contributions from Maersk and Norsepower. Shell is the project coordinator. The rotors "have the potential to reduce ship fuel consumption substantially, especially on tankers and dry bulk carriers...To date, there has been insufficient full scale demonstration on a suitable ocean going marine vessel to prove the technology benefits and operational impact", Andrew Scott, program manager for ETI, said in a press release.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will lower the global marine fuel sulphur limit from 3.5pc to 0.5pc in January 2020. The new regulation has encouraged ship operators to look for ways to improve their fuel efficiency.