Wallenius Wilhelmsen Fitting New Bulbous Bows to Save 6% Fuel Saving with1,400t CO₂ Reduction
As Wallenius Wilhelmsen makes progress on their journey to zero emissions, efficiency meets environmental responsibility. The global RoRo liner operator transports a range of products, from auto, construction, mining and agriculture machinery to various breakbulk products with a fleet of more than 50 modern vessels. Taking a step forward they are happy to report that one of their vessels, Aniara, has just been upgraded with a new bulbous bow.
Installed meticulously at the renowned IMC-Yongyue (IMC-YY) repair yard in Zhoushan, China, the process was executed within the anticipated three-week dry-docking span… And the news gets better – this bow upgrade is only the first; their vessels Oberon, Tijuca, and Tirranna await similar enhancements, with pre-fabrication efforts well underway.
A simple observation served as the basis for this effective change.
“The existing bulbous bow design was initially optimized for one very specific draught and speed. However, operational data clearly show that the vessels operate at lower draughts and speeds a significant portion of the time, where the existing design is not performing well, creating additional resistance to move through the water,” says Adam Larsson, Senior Manager of Energy Efficiency and Performance.
To be precise, these fuel savings amount to an impressive average of 6%, translating to a reduction of 1,400 tonnes of CO₂ annually for a single vessel. “We can expect even larger average savings if actual operating speeds are reduced in the future because the new design compared to the old will perform much better at lower speeds. Worth noticing is that at some operating conditions, such as lower draught about 8m and 14 knots speed, the savings can be as much as up to 30%,” says Larsson.
Designed with precision, the newly developed 137t, 23m bulbous bow section underwent a two-month pre-fabrication phase, when it was coated and lifted into the dry dock using a large floating crane before installation. The yard carefully planned the operation, and the accuracy and efficiency of their work during this very limited timeframe was impressive!
“The most exciting part of the project is during the lifting and installation of the new bulbous bow section as it can never be guaranteed that everything will go as planned. Luckily, the new section matched perfectly well with the existing hull, and the yard managed to finalize the installation in less than a week, which is impressive” says Lars Ekren, Senior Manager in Newbuilding & Projects.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen has previously ventured into bulbous bow conversion endeavours, and this won’t be the last. Such upgrades, combined with other energy efficiency ventures, are crucial in their journey to net zero emissions.