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Wind-assisted

bound4blue raises USD 24 million in latest funding round for wind propulsion system

Funds raised will be used to help the company roll out its pioneering suction sail system (eSAIL), as well as scale up to meet demand for zero-emission propulsion solutions in shipping

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bound4blue, a developer of automated wind-assisted propulsion systems for the maritime transport based in Spain, on Thursday (7 September) said it has secured a EUR 15.9 million (USD 24 million) Series A funding round led by GTT Strategic Ventures.

The funds raised will be used to help the company roll out its pioneering suction sail system (eSAIL), as well as scale up to meet demand for zero-emission propulsion solutions in shipping. With this funding, the company will achieve its next milestones, securing a leading position in the wind-assisted propulsion sector globally and facilitating strategic advancements that encompass expanding the company's production capabilities and strengthening its human resources.

The round was participated by the EIC Fund (European Innovation Council), Shift4Good, Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, the Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Sun Returns, Kai Capital and existing investors including the Ocean Born Foundation and CDTI (Centre for the Development of Technology and Innovation) through the co-investment initiative of Innvierte programme. 

The new investors join other shareholders of bound4blue including institutional and private Spanish investors. The law firm Ceca Magán has advised bound4blue on this Series A financing round, accompanied by the partner of the M&A area, Miguel Lobón, and his team - Diego Gómez and Borja Pellejero.

This financing is further complemented by a EUR 4.1 million grant from the Innovation Fund Program, awarded by CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency) in 2022, and an additional grant of €2.4M previously awarded in 2021 by the EIC Accelerator Program, bringing the total financing to €22.4M. The EIC Fund operates within the EIC's mandate to identify and support high-impact innovations within the EU. Their support for bound4blue reflects a strategic decision to participate in the success of the European shipping decarbonization strategy and builds upon their commitment to the grant component.

Founded in 2014, bound4blue develops wind-assisted propulsion systems (WAPS), allowing ship-owners and ship operators to reduce their fuel consumption, to enable a more sustainable and economically efficient shipping. The technologies designed by bound4blue also help maritime transport adapt to new international regulations.

The system developed by bound4blue, derived from the suction sail designed by Commandant Cousteau in the 1980s, is an easy-to-install solution, requiring minimum maintenance and a payback below five years, on a large number of segments (LNG carriers, bulk carriers, tankers, Ro-Ro, general cargo, ferries and cruises).

José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of bound4blue, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new investors onboard. Their wealth of knowledge and expertise in shipping and financing represents a momentous step that will steer our company towards even greater development and global expansion. With their support, we’ll continue steadfast in our mission to drive the decarbonisation of the shipping sector, making wind propulsion a standard on ships.”

Photo credit: bound4blue
Published: 11 September, 2023

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Wind-assisted

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.

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Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

GCMD dives into legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation

Investments must broaden across the value chain, expand into the upstream to secure a long-term supply of affordable fuel for growing class of dual-fuelled fleet, says Shane Balani of GCMD.

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GCMD dives into legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Tuesday (23 January) shared perspectives of its Director of Research & Projects at GCMD, Shane Balani, during law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP's final session of the Singapore Decarbonisation Series 2024.

Moderated by Jonathan Ward, the panel on “Shipbuilding, retrofits, batteries and financing”, delved into the complex legal and financing considerations for maritime decarbonisation.

With panellists intimately familiar with the challenges of financing the energy transition of shipping, the discussion emphasised the need to rethink existing approaches. Balani of GCMD gave his perspectives on the following issues: 

How can stakeholders of the value chain finance the energy transition of shipping?

We are seeing a growing traction in dual-fuelled vessels in the orderbook, each one culminating from careful consideration and optimisation of all the factors at play – safety, cost, long-term availability of alternative fuels, and GHG abatement – before landing on the exact fuel combinations.

With so many options still on the table, and no clear standard choice, financing of dual-fuelled vessels should not stop at the hull. Investments must broaden across the value chain, expand into the upstream to secure a long-term supply of affordable fuel for this growing class of fleet.

What are the challenges to installing EETs onboard existing and retrofitted vessels? 

Though several promising energy efficiency technologies (EETs), such as batteries, wind propulsion, are available, none will work as a standalone. Combined with retrofits, they may be effective in helping shipping to meet the IMO’s 2030 ambitions to reduce shipping emissions by 20 to 30%. 

Deployment of EETs through financial instruments like sustainability-linked loans comes with stringent borrowing requirements and quantification of performance to justify the payback for retrofitting the vessel fleets. Currently the variable operating conditions of vessels lead to uncertainties, making it difficult for shipowners, financiers, lawyers, classification societies to assess the actual impact of EETs. 

Also, as shipowners bear the upfront costs of retrofitting vessels, but the fuel savings and economic benefits flow instead to charterers, there is the problem of spilt incentive that discourages widespread adoption.

How can we scale the adoption of energy efficiency technologies?

Clear, verified, transparent data-sharing on the performance of retrofitted vessels is required to allow stakeholders to verify their fuel savings and attribute these to specific EETs deployed. The linkages, when proven, will open up opportunities to unlock financing mechanisms and release investments, scaling the mass adoption of energy efficiency technologies. 

 

Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 23 January, 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Deltamarin to design wind-assisted, e-methanol dual-fuel RoRo vessels for LDA

Powered by a combination of six Flettner rotors and two dual-fuel engines running on marine diesel oil and e-methanol bunker fuels, the vessels are designed for minimal environmental footprint.

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Deltamarin to design new wind-assisted, e-methanol dual-fuel RoRo vessels for LDA

Ship designer Deltamarin on Wednesday (10 January) announced its collaboration with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs (LDA) and Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co Ltd. (WSIG) in designing three modern and eco-friendly roll-on / roll-off vessels for Airbus aircraft subassembly transportation. 

Powered by a combination of six Flettner rotors and two dual-fuel engines running on marine diesel oil and e-methanol, the vessels are designed for minimal environmental footprint. The new fleet is expected to reduce average annual transatlantic CO2 emissions from 68,000 to 33,000 tonnes by 2030.

The new fleet is set out to cut C02 emissions by 50% compared to 2023 levels by the year 2030.

Airbus has selected the French shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs to modernise its entire fleet of chartered vessels that transport aircraft subassemblies between production facilities in Europe and the United States.

Deltamarin has previously collaborated with Louis Dreyfus Armateurs on the concept design of the vessels, and now continues with the basic and detail design for the Wuchang shipyard.

Each new transatlantic vessel will have the capacity to transport around seventy 40-foot containers and six single-aisle aircraft subassembly sets, a substantial increase from current cargo ships.

The vessels will be built, owned, and operated by LDA and are expected to commence operations in 2026.

 

Photo credit: Deltamarin
Published: 16 January, 2024

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