By Andrew Liszewski
Here’s one for all the OhGizmo! readers who also happen to operate a billion dollar shipping company. The Thrust Fin, developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries, is designed to attach to the rudder of an existing container ship and will not only boost thrust, but also save fuel. One of the first fins was installed on an 8,600 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) container ship owned and operated by German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd a few months ago. They found that the fins do indeed reduce fuel consumption by about 4 to 6 percent, and ended up ordering them for 6 more ships in their fleet.
While 4 to 6 percent might not seem like a lot, when you consider that a large container ship can guzzle about 300 tons of fuel a day, it equates to savings of about $2.4 million a year. And since a container ship has a lifespan of about 25 years, that could add up to an overall savings of $60 million. Now I’m not exactly sure how the fins work, but they apparently operate just like an airplane’s wing, and Hyundai is hoping to eventually boost their production capacity to around 30 fins a year to keep up with the demand.