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bound4blue eSAIL® chosen for landmark newbuild in French Polynesia

bound4blue eSAIL® chosen for landmark newbuild in French Polynesia
Dana Camps


30 January 2024
  • SNA TUHA’A PAE to install bound4blue eSAIL® on NA HIRO E PAE, set to voyage between Tahiti and the Austral Islands. 
  • Single eSAIL® will reduce energy consumption by more than 10%, allowing French Government funded project to meet ambitious environmental objectives. 

Barcelona, Spain, January 30, 2024 – bound4blue has been selected to install a 22-metre-high eSAIL® onboard the newbuild multipurpose cargo vessel NA PAE E HIRO, helping shipowner SNA TUHA’A PAE (SNA) reduce energy consumption by 10%. Launching in 2026, the trailblazing ship will mix green technology with an ambition to accelerate development of the remote Austral Islands, carrying both vital supplies and up to 200 tourists on its voyages from Tahiti to the South Pacific archipelago. 

Flexible efficiency – eSAIL®

The contract marks the first time bound4blue’s proven solution has been selected for a newbuild vessel of this type. 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. This process generates seven times more lift than a conventional airplane wing, resulting in exceptional propulsive efficiency, greatly reducing the load on main engines – saving fuel and cutting emissions. 

At the end of 2023, bound4blue announced commercial agreements with LDC for the installation of four 26-metre-high eSAILs® on the Louis Dreyfus Company chartered vessel MV Atlantic Orchard and three 22-metre-high units on the Ville de Bordeaux, used by Airbus to transport aircraft subassemblies. These new contracts showcase the system’s flexibility, delivering energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age. 

Technology meets tradition 

David Ferrer, co-founder and CTO of bound4blue, comments: “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. We believe this demonstrates the growing appreciation of our unique offer, and expertise, within the global marketplace. 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.” 

esail - suction sail tuhaa pae

Photo Credits: Cotenaval 

Future focus 

The 89-metre-long newbuild is now 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 design process of this ship done by COTENAVAL has been centered around presenting it with state-of-the-art systems and an optimized design aimed at reducing overall energy consumption, emissions, and maintenance costs. Additionally, flexibility and quick loading/unloading operations have been key focal points for COTENAVAL’s design. The comfort and modern appearance of the accommodation areas, providing ample space for leisure, and maintaining natural light within the ship’s areas, have always been crucial aspects of this design. 

In addition to the lightweight, easy to maintain 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, translating to much reduced energy consumption and emissions per cargo tonne.  

Empowering potential 

“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,” comments Boris PIEL, technical Director, SNA. “A new generation of vessel unlocks new possibilities for the communities here, and the NA HIRO E PAE E has been designed to maximise that potential.” 

“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.” 

Contact information: 

Dana Camps | T. +34 938 33 73 92 | 

About bound4blue 

bound4blue develops automated wind-assisted propulsion systems as a turnkey solution for all shipowners and shipping companies seeking to reduce fuel costs and polluting emissions. bound4blue’s eSAIL® system is a validated solution for saving fuel and emissions, completely autonomous, with low maintenance and easy installation onboard, being the most cost-efficient wind propulsion technology today. It is suitable for Tankers, Bulkers, Ro-Ros, Cruises, Ferries, Gas Carriers, and General Cargo vessels, regardless of their size or age. The company, founded in 2014 with a vocation clearly focused on the renewable energy sector in the maritime field, has its headquarters in Cantabria (Spain) and offices in Barcelona and Singapore. The company has installed its eSAIL® system on three ships and has signed additional agreements with other shipowners like Marubeni Corporation, Odfjell and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs to install the system on their fleets. 

For more information, visit:   

About “ECO” 

ECO was founded in 2019 by 3 former 1st class French Captains of the Merchant Marine (C1NM). The company was created in Marseille, in view of the significant needs of shipowners and industrialists for studies, advice, guidance and follow-up concerning their tools in the maritime and industrial field, owned, chartered or to be built. 

Strongly established in the maritime and harbour sector, mastering national and international regulations, having a solid network, ECO has already brought its experience and expertise to several shipowners and equipment manufacturers. Ours supports were linked to heavy damaged units’ assessment, reengineering projects, monitoring, environmental audits, regulatory follow-up, drafting of work specifications, vessel change of flag, new building, sales/purchase or chartering. 

ECO company is also an approved verifier for the Green Marine Europe label.  

For more information, visit:  

About Société de Navigation des Australes TUHA’A PAE (SNA) 

Since 1970, the company “SNA TUHA’A PAE” has provided service to the Austral Islands, notably the island of Rapa, which has no airport.  The current ship, the Tuha’a Pae IV, was commissioned at the end of 2012. A true lung of these remote islands, this mixed cargo ship is capable of transporting essential products such as: gasoline, gas, as well as transport of passengers. 

In 2020, the company, which already occasionally offered cruises, decided to highlight this activity by setting up a partnership with a local travel agency. The possibilities for synergies with this activity with strong development potential have convinced management to make the necessary adjustments. The license granted to the shipowner requires a number of 26 annual rotations, excluding refit years, except for Rapa where 12 annual rotations are planned. 

In addition to the public dimension of the service provided by the company SNA TUHA’A PAE, this is both an economic and social issue. The development of the islands, the sustainability of local activities and the maintenance of jobs depend on inter-island maritime transport. The company, which began its rotations in 1969, has experienced periods of sharp fluctuations in fuel prices but has maintained its frequency of rotations to the detriment of trip profitability. 

The SNA operates the Australes line with an average of 30 annual rotations. Regular investments have combined improved passenger comfort and increased passenger and freight transport capacity. SNA TUHA’ A PAE contributes to opening the Southern Islands and promoting tourism in French Polynesia. It transports more than 1,200 passengers annually, or 26,629 passengers since the year 2000. 

For 42 years, SNA TUHA’A PAE has been operating ships in Polynesia. It is with its 45 employees, 29 sailors and 16 sedentary workers that the company has the desire to grow to improve its services. 

The Société de Navigation des Australes TUHAA PAE is what can today be described as a major element in the local maritime sector. Founded in 1970 with the aim of opening the Austral archipelago, it is still today the link that connects this archipelago far from the capital Tahiti. 

For more information, visit:  


COTENAVAL, is focused on providing consultancy and technical advisory services in the maritime sector. We are an organization committed to innovation and decarbonization. With a track record of over 17 years in this field, COTENAVAL has been pioneer in the ongoing search for solutions that reduce the environmental impact of our industry, firmly believing that innovation is the driving force for a more sustainable future. 

Throughout COTENAVAL history, they have actively participated in a wide range of projects that integrate new technologies into the maritime landscape, encompassing various types of vessels, from ferries to tanks and general cargo. 

Thanks to COTENAVAL extensive experience, the company has gained deep insights into the spectrum of new technologies available in the sector, enabling us to develop tailored solutions that contribute to emissions reduction and energy optimization.  

COTENAVAL take pride in being a company with an innovative mindset, always proactive and eager to explore new initiatives that drive energy efficiency in our designs and operations. 

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