Oldendorff Carriers is to fit Flettner Rotor sails to a post-panamax bulker as part of an expansion of its decarbonisation initiative with Canadian miner Tech Resources.

The 100,449-dwt Dietrich Oldendorf (built 2000), which carries shipments of Teck steelmaking coal from the Port of Vancouver, will be outfitted with the rotor system by mid-2024.

The Flettner Rotors generate lift from the wind, which is translated into additional thrust, thereby reducing fuel consumption on voyages across the Pacific.

The addition of the rotors, along with other emission savings measures, is expected to reduce emissions by 55% resulting in an annual reduction of more than 17,000 tonnes of CO2.

“This innovative agreement to utilise wind power in shipping will reduce the carbon footprint in Teck’s supply chain and help advance the development of green transportation corridors,” Teck president and chief executive Jonathan Price said.

Patrick Hutchins, chief executive of Oldendorff Carriers, said: “Forty years of historical weather data show that the trade between the Pacific Northwest and Asia is one of the best trade lanes for producing reliable wind energy.

“We are excited to harness the power of the wind in the transpacific dry bulk trade with a progressive partner like Teck.

“Our mutual determination to drive a decarbonised supply chain can only be realised through cooperation and collaboration.”

Manufactured by Norsepower, the rotors are constructed in part with recycled materials from approximately 342,000 plastic bottles.

Teck and Oldendorff are also currently piloting the use of biofuel on another bulk carrier as another means to lower emissions.

In November 2021, Oldendorff and Teck announced an agreement to employ energy-efficient bulk carriers for shipments of Teck steelmaking coal from the Port of Vancouver to international destinations.

This initiative was expected to achieve a CO2 emissions reduction of 30% to 40% for shipments handled by Oldendorff, the equivalent of up to 45,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Since the tie-up was announced, Oldendorff and Teck claim that an estimated 115,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions have been eliminated.

As part of Teck’s Sustainability Strategy, the company has goals to reduce carbon intensity across operations by 33% by 2030 and be a carbon-neutral operator by 2050.