Laurent Cadji-led Union Maritime is investing strategically in BAR Technologies, the developer of the WindWings propulsion system.

The shipowner is working with BAR’s shareholders to buy a significant slice of the UK company, reflecting Union Maritime’s long-term commitment and strategic alignment.

“That process is in its final stages and reflects Union Maritime’s deep commitment to good corporate citizenship … and to WindWings technology and its central role in global shipping,” Union Maritime said.

It said the exact investment is being determined.

Union Maritime said WindWings has huge environmental benefits and economic incentives for shipowners and charterers alike — as well as the wider shipping and trading community — in the form of significantly reduced fuel costs.

“Crucially, all this is achieved without compromising on speed, efficiency and quality of service,” Union Maritime said.

Union Maritime will install the WindWings rigid sails onto 34 newbuildings including 14 LR2 tankers, 12 chemical tankers and eight MRs.

It added that the technology would deliver daily savings of up to 1.5 tonnes of fuel per wing and up to 6 tonnes of CO2 per wing on typical global routes — as good as NorsePower’s rotor sails.

The wings are manufactured in partnership with CM Energy Tech.

“Wind propulsion is the central feature of Union Maritime’s wider environmental initiatives. The company is also deploying dual-fuel LNG engines on up to eight LR2s, working with BAR Technologies on its transformational AeroBridge superstructure which provides further efficiency and crew comfort, as well as various other technologies,” Union Maritime said.

The company added that it is pursuing ambitious sustainability goals, while maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence.