NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
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Innovative 750-Foot Cargo Ship Incorporates Enormous Sail Wings for Carbon Emission Reduction
By Sea and Coast | 26/08/2023
Mitsubishi Corporation's New Cargo Ship Employs Wind-Powered Innovation to Reduce Emissions
Mitsubishi Corporation introduces an innovative approach to commercial shipping with its newly designed cargo vessel, a departure from the conventional heavy-fuel consuming ships prevalent in the industry.
The Pyxis Ocean, spanning 750 feet, has been chartered by Cargill, a shipping company. Notably, the vessel features two large sail wings, a creation of BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies. These sail wings, named WindWings, are an impressive 123 feet tall and utilize wind power to significantly decrease fuel consumption and subsequently lower carbon emissions.
The WindWings sails, constructed from durable materials akin to those used in wind turbines, can be incorporated onto the deck of existing or new cargo ships. They are retractable and can be stowed away neatly when not in use. On an average global shipping route, each WindWing can contribute to savings of up to 1.5 tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO) per day. In terms of new builds, these wings are projected to achieve fuel savings averaging around 30 percent, as stated by Cargill.
The Pyxis Ocean, now setting sail on its inaugural journey from China to Brazil, has been retrofitted with two WindWings. This alteration has the potential to reduce daily fuel consumption by up to three tons. Over the forthcoming months, the ship's performance will be closely monitored to determine its effectiveness. The goal is to upscale this technology, not only within Cargill's fleet but across the entire shipping industry. Yara Marine Technologies is in the process of producing hundreds of WindWings in the next four years. Additionally, BAR Technologies is exploring the development of more hydrodynamic hull designs. The British engineering firm emerged from Ben Ainslie's America's Cup team in 2017, showcasing a history of pioneering design.
John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, emphasized the importance of innovation in achieving the shipping industry's emission reduction ambitions. He highlighted wind as a virtually cost-free fuel source with significant potential to reduce emissions and enhance vessel operational efficiency.
Shipping accounts for approximately three percent of global emissions. The WindWings project, supported in part by the European Union's CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative, offers a promising avenue to decarbonize both existing and new vessels. The retrofit solution is especially valuable given that 55 percent of the world's bulk carrier fleets are within nine years of age.
The use of wind power is not limited to commercial shipping. Ponant, a French cruise line, is constructing an ocean liner featuring an innovative sail-propulsion system expected to generate around 50 percent of its propulsion from wind. Similarly, Accor is developing an Orient Express cruise ship equipped with a patented SolidSail system capable of providing up to 100 percent of propulsion under suitable conditions. Leading shipyards Royal Huisman and Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven have also unveiled sailing-equipped superyachts and catamarans. It is evident that wind-powered solutions are gaining traction in the maritime industry, indicating a future trend toward more sail-based vessels.