WASHINGTON, Mar. 16, 2017 - Look for new spinning wind rotors on Maersk Tankers next year, in an effort to reduce fuel consumption.

Norsepower, in partnership with Maersk Tankers, Shell Shipping & Maritime, and the U.K.’s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) plans to install two, 30 meter rotating sales to a Maersk Tanker vessel in 2018, with testing at sea until the end of 2019. The majority of the project will be funded by ETI, with contributions from the other partners.

"As an abundant and free renewable energy, wind power has a role to play in supporting the shipping industry to reduce its fuel consumption and meet impending carbon reduction targets," Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, said in a news release. The company projects that the new sails will cut fuel consumption and emissions on the 110,000-ton tanker by 7-10 percent.

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ETI's Program Manager Andrew Scott said the modernized Flettner rotors have the potential to cut ship fuel consumption substantially, but to date, “there has been insufficient full scale demonstration on a suitable ocean going marine vessel to prove the technology benefits and operational impacts.”

Demonstrating the technology will make this project "more attractive to shipping companies and investors, and could play a significant role in reducing the fuel costs and improving the environmental impact of shipping in the future.” Scott added.