The road towards the Orcelle vision of zero-emission shipping is anything but straightforward. Many of the technologies needed to achieve zero emission can be envisioned but do not yet exist, at least not on a scale that would enable trans-oceanic transport. But for every new vessel type that we develop, WWL and our owners Wilh. Wilhelmsen and Wallenius Lines work with the shipyard, suppliers and the research community to push back the technological boundaries in order to further reduce our environmental impact.

New High Efficiency RoRo Vessels

2014 saw the start of construction of our new generation HERO (High Efficiency ROro) vessels, the first of which was delivered in February 2015. Measuring in at 36.5 m wide and 199.99 m long the HERO vessels provide the right capacity for efficient operations, contributing to reduced emissions per transported unit. The post panamax dimensions, significantly wider than previous vessels, means the vessel is inherently more stable. Thus it requires less ballast water, reducing the invasive species risks and making a positive contribution to efficiency.

Taking steps towards the Orcelle vision shipping, the Thermopylae design includes emission reducing features such as a streamlined bow, new Promas rudder and an engine configured to allow the vessel to operate more efficiently in a wider range of speeds and drafts. In addition, the vessel is fitted with an Exhaust Gas Cleaning System, commonly called a Scrubber, which reduces sulphur emissions to below 0.1% in compliance with ECA regulations.

Thermopylae is the first of in total eight HERO post panamax vessels that will commence service for WWL in the years 2015-2017.  At the same time, older less efficient vessels are being retired and this rejuvenation of the fleet will bring a noticeable reduction in relative emission levels over the years to come.

During 2014, three vessels were retired from the WWL fleet for recycling in at a fully equipped and certified craned berth. All vessels are issued with Inventory of Hazardous Materials/Green Passport certified by Class.

The Orcelle Award

The Orcelle Award, handed out in cooperation with The Ocean Exchange, promotes and supports clean tech entrepreneurs working on alternative energy sources and energy efficient technologies for commercial ocean vessels, and marine terminal & processing facilities. This focus reflects WWL's own work towards the E/S Orcelle, a zero-emissions concept vessel, and the Castor Green Terminal, a zero-emissions terminal and cargo processing centre.

The WWL Orcelle® Award of 2014 and $100,000 was awarded to Deep Green from Minesto AB of Sweden. Minesto’s tidal power plant looks like an underwater kite and is based on an innovative new approach for electricity generation from tidal and ocean currents. Deep Green is the only proven marine power plant to generate electricity from low velocity tidal currents. A pilot plant is running off the coast of Wales, and since the Orcelle Award Minesto has received multi-million dollar investment grants, which will enable a full scale installation planned to be operational in 2016.

EcoSubSea, Orcelle Award laureates of 2013 with an environmentally friendly technology for in water hull cleaning, are already having an impact. Their technology enables close to 100% of fouling to be removed and captured for handled on shore. In 2014 the company established a cleaning station in the port of Southampton where it is in use by the bulk of the WWL fleet. Regular cleaning of the vessels result in reduced friction during sailing and with that reduced emissions.