New wind technology on board a cargo ship has been tested to bring wind propulsion to commercial shipping, freight trading company Cargill announced on Monday.
Cargill and UK-based engineering consultancy BAR Technologies' ground-breaking innovation, WindWings, set sail on open waters.
Mitsubishi Corporation's Pyxis Ocean, chartered by Cargill, is the first vessel to be modified with two WindWings, large wing sails measuring up to 37.5 meters in height that can be installed on the deck of cargo ships to harness the power of wind.
Produced by industry partner Yara Marine Technologies, the sails are anticipated to save up to 30% on fuel on average compared to newly built vessels, with the potential for greater savings when combined with alternative fuels.
'At Cargill, we have a responsibility to pioneer decarbonizing solutions across all our supply chains to meet our customers' needs and the needs of the planet,' Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill's Ocean Transportation, was quoted as saying in the statement.
John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, highlighted the need for innovation if international shipping is to achieve its aim of reducing carbon emissions.
'Wind is a near-marginal cost-free fuel, and the opportunity for reducing emissions, alongside significant efficiency gains in vessel operating costs, is substantial,' he said.
The WindWings project, co-funded by the European Union as part of the CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative, can help the maritime industry meet those targets by providing a retrofit solution that is capable of decarbonizing existing vessels.
The performance of the WindWings will be closely monitored over the coming months to further improve its design, operation, and performance, in line with the aim of Pyxis Ocean to inform the scale-up and adoption of this technology across the industry.
BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies are already planning to build hundreds of wings over the next four years.
By Basak Erkalan