During the last part of her ballast voyage from Sao Sebastiao in Brazil to Skikda in Algeria, NORDEN’s 47,400 dwt MR ‘Nord Integrity’ was allowed to drift 280 miles, thus saving 27 tonnes of fuel.
According the the latest edition of NORDEN News, the vessel, operating in the Norient Product Pool (NPP), had so much time to spare after bunkering in Las Palmas that her Captain- Rohit Minocha - after consulting the company’s operations department in Hellerup, decided to stop the main engine.
During the following three to four days, the vessel drifted 280 nautical miles towards her loading destination – using only the wind and sea current.
This unusual initiative resulted in savings of 27 tonnes of fuel corresponding to $17,064, NORDEN claimed.
The voyage, undertaken by wind and current alone, complied with all safety regulations and ‘Nord Integrity’ reached the loading destination just in time and ready to load condensate for later discharge in Rotterdam.
Head of NPP operations, Jens Malund Jensen, said; ”This is a captain who is capable of thinking out of the box. Not everyone gets the idea to use nature’s own forces like that. After all, the merchant fleet of vessels switched to engine power several decades ago, so it requires innovative thinking to consider using wind and current as the only driving power.
"In addition, the captain has understood to use the local wind and current information optimally. Lots of fuel was saved – also of benefit to the environment, the voyage was safely performed, he reached the destination in time, he avoided to sit at anchor in the loading port, and he contributed to better safety at the loading port because the less crowded, the higher the safety. Everything and everyone benefited from his decision,” he said to NORDEN News.
Jensen stressed that many factors must fall into place for this kind of sailing to be possible. “We must have plenty of time to reach the loading port, which we luckily rarely have. The wind and current must have the right direction. And finally, there must be enough room in the area to drift as safety can naturally never be compromised.”
He also said that the unusual voyage between Las Palmas and Skikda was the result of a good co-operation between the vessel and NPP’s operations department and between NORDEN and the owner of the long-term chartered vessel. This co-operation had developed over several years and encourages the partners to have a close and open dialogue, as well as being proactive and thinking out of the box.
”The longer we continue down this track, the more good initiatives will also be presented to us. Optimisation of all voyages is crucial for our business. That is why I wish to share a success story as this one from ‘Nord Integrity’ in the hope of a repeat, when time, wind, current, traffic in the area and the market make it possible again,” said Jensen.
For the sake of good order, he added that a vessel carrying a cargo would never sail by wind and current alone. For laden vessels, the general principle for seaborne transports applies – ie ‘utmost despatch’, meaning that the cargo must reach its destination as fast as possible.