Airseas, an Airbus spin-off, has signed a 20-year agreement with giant shipowner Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (“K” Line) to install and service one ship with a Seawing, an automated kite based on parafoil technology.
The Seawing will be used to tow commercial ships and reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent through wind propulsion. Following an initial test on one vessel, “K” Line will acquire up to 50 Seawings.
“Seawing represents a breakthrough for our industry and for the environment,’ said Misaki, Managing Executive Officer of “K” Line. “K”LINE has always been committed to demonstrating that shipowners are prioritizing technology to improve ship efficiency and to solve the core issue of maritime emissions. By utilizing aeronautical competences, Seawing reduces the environmental footprint of Capesize ships by 5,200 tons of CO2 per year depending on the vessel voyage route.”
Airseas launched the development of Seawing in 2016, tested its prototype at sea at the end of 2017 and will deliver its 500 square metre Seawing by the end of 2020 onto Airbus’ 150 metre long ro-ro ship operating between Saint-Nazaire, France, and Mobile, Alabama, US. The Japanese shipowner will install the first new 1,000 sqm Seawing in 2021, and this will kick-start the Airbus spin-off’s industrial ramp-up, with the final goal of reaching hundreds of deliveries per year from 2025.