Louis Dreyfus and GTT among new investors in Spanish suction sail manufacturer 

Wind propulsion as a centrepiece of shipping’s decarbonisation pathway continues to gain traction 

Agricultural giant Louis Dreyfus Company, LNG containment system leader GTT and the European Commission are among the parties to have invested in bound4blue’s €15.9m ($17m) Series A funding round, becoming shareholders of the Spanish suction sail company.  

The funds raised will be used to help the 2014-established company roll out its eSAIL suction system. Founded in 2014, bound4blue develops wind-assisted propulsion systems 

José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of bound4blue, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the new investors onboard. Their wealth of knowledge and expertise in shipping and financing represents a momentous step that will steer our company towards even greater development and global expansion. With their support, we’ll continue steadfast in our mission to drive the decarbonisation of the shipping sector, making wind propulsion a standard on ships.”

Wind-assisted ship propulsion installations are on track to double this year over last year’s figure of just over 20, according to Gavin Allwright, secretary-general of the International Windship Association (IWSA) with a wide range of wind tech being sought by shipowners, including kites, hard sails and foils. 

Wind-assisted propulsion was identified as one of the top tech developments in Splash’s annual tech forecast published at the start of the year with major charterers coming onboard to support the move. 

“The message that we have delivered to national governments, the EU, the IMO and at the UN headquarters in New York has been that wind delivers on the most ambitious targets, it is the only propulsive energy source that will effectively pay for itself and a firm, robust and predictable framework for decarbonisation is what is needed for the industry to invest, scale quickly and weather the decarbonisation storm,” Allwright wrote in IWSA’s latest newsletter.

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