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Spanish cleantech engineering company bound4blue has been selected to install a 22-metre-high eSAIL onboard the newbuild multipurpose cargo vessel NA PAE E HIRO, owned by shipping company SNA TUHA’A PAE (SNA).

To be launched in 2026, the ship will mix green technology with an ambition to accelerate the development of the remote Austral Islands, carrying both supplies and up to 200 tourists on its voyages from Tahiti to the South Pacific archipelago. 

The 89-metre-long newbuild is set for construction at Armon Shipyard in Vigo, Spain, with naval architecture delivered by Cotenaval (Spain) and consultancy by ECO (France). Financial support has been awarded through the French Government’s Appel à Manifestation d’intérêt initiative, with the project meeting criteria of local fleet renewal, opening the Australes, delivering cruise business, supporting local employment, and sustainability goals. 

The eSAIL, designed for both retrofits and newbuilds, is a ‘suction sail’. It works by harnessing wind power to propel vessels, employing an autonomous vertical sail with suction technology, dragging air over a think aerodynamic profile. 

The shipping company expects that by installing eSAIL, the energy consumption will be reduced by 10%.

“This is stand-out contract for bound4blue, marking the first time our technology has been chosen for a newbuild, after a very competitive international tender process... The eSAIL® effectively provides a modern twist to the ancient tradition of harnessing the trade winds of the Southern Pacific. It allows this forward-thinking owner to achieve strong environmental and commercial benefits, taking advantage of an abundant renewable energy source to support a move away from fossil fuels,” David Ferrer, co-founder and CTO of bound4blue, commented.
In addition to the lightweight eSAIL, NA PAE E HIRO will be fitted with engines capable of running on biofuel or e-fuel, as soon as it becomes commercially available in the region.

It also offers efficiency in terms of waste treatment, electric POD propulsion and autonomy in fresh water supply. Cargo capacity is 1,500 tonnes, almost four times more than its predecessor, the TUHAA PAE IV, to translate much-reduced energy consumption and emissions per cargo tonne.  

“The development of these beautiful islands, the sustainability of local economic activity, and the overall welfare of the population depends upon a strong maritime transport link,” commented Boris Piel, technical Director, SNA.  “Sustainability and environmental stewardship were at the top of our agenda. bound4blue’s unique eSAIL® was a market proven, mechanically robust choice. It is simple, stable, low maintenance and provides clear environmental benefits, working in tandem with the other propulsion systems to optimize power. The fact that it helps drive down OPEX provides a strong commercial argument. We can’t wait to sail in 2026.”