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Unveiled: The Clean Queen Of The Sea


By David Harrison
The Telegraph - UK
March 13, 2005


It is the ship of the future - powered by the sun, wind and waves. The
futuristic vessel has no conventional engines, uses no fossil fuels
and releases no harmful emissions into the atmosphere or pollution
into the sea.

The first ship to use the technology will be a cargo vessel that will
transport up to 10,000 cars from Britain to Australia, New Zealand and
other countries. If successful, it will be used on passenger ferries
and cruise ships.

The wave energy is harnessed by 12 dolphin-like fins on the ship's
hull, while sun and wind energy is collected by three giant, rigid,
fin-like sails covered in solar panels.

The sails and fins will also help the ship to cruise at a speed of 15
knots and stability will be provided by the pentamaran hull - a slim
monohull that will have two smaller support hulls, known as sponsons,
on each side.

Once harnessed the sun, wind and wave energy will be combined with
hydrogen and stored in fuel cells.

A spokesman for Wallenius Wilhelmson, the ship's Scandinavian
designers who have a British headquarters in Southampton, said: "This
will be the first truly environmentally friendly ship, protecting the
atmosphere and marine species. It will transform ocean transport."

The international shipping company transports 160,000 cars a year,
including Jaguars, Land Rovers and BMWs, from Southampton to
Australia, New Zealand and other countries.

The vessel will include a cargo deck the size of 14 football pitches.
It will be able to carry up 10,000 cars in emission-free conditions.

At 820ft long it will be shorter than the Queen Mary 2 (1,132ft) and
the QE2 (963ft), but more than three times the length of a Boeing 747
jumbo jet (232ft).

The ship is called the E/S Orcelle after the orcelle dolphin - the
French word for the Irrawaddy dolphin, one of the world's most
critically endangered species. The E/S stands for "environmentally
sound ship".

The ship's design means that it will not need to carry ballast water,
used to stabilise traditional vessels. The collection and disposal of
ballast water has worried marine conservationists for years.

Many fragile species are collected inadvertently when a ship takes
thousands of tons of water from the sea for ballast.

When the water is emptied back into the ocean, often thousands of
miles away, many species are dumped in alien environments that
threaten their survival. The company, which has about 60 modern
vessels that carry 17 million vehicles a year by sea, will unveil a
model of the E/S Orcelle at Expo, the world trade fair, in Aichi,
Japan, next month.

Nils Dyvik, the company's chief executive, said that a ship with some
of the Orcelle's "environmentally friendly characteristics" could be
launched within five years, but said that the "complete version" might
not be crossing the oceans until 2025.

The cost of the futuristic vessel is not known, but Mr Dyvik said that
he expected that it would be more expensive than a conventional cargo
ship, which costs up to 46 million. "The cost is likely to come down,
however, as the technology gets cheaper," he added.

Mr Dyvik said that the E/S Orcelle was the future of ocean transport.
"It represents the achievable goal of building a zero-emission cargo
ship," he said. "The shipping industry has to play its part in
protecting the environment and we are determined to be at the
forefront of efforts to help to protect marine life on the high seas."

 

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