The Pyxis Ocean, owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation and chartered by Cargill, has begun testing in the open ocean following the installation of a pair of BAR Tech WindWings developed by Yara Marine Technologies.
The 37.5m-tall wing sails are fitted to the deck of the vessel and provide wind propulsion to generate average fuel savings of up to 30%. The installation of the wings was carried out at the COSCO shipyard in China.
The WindWings project – co-funded by the European Union as part of the CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative – provides a retrofit solution capable of decarbonizing existing vessels. During sea trials, the performance of the wind propulsion system will be monitored to improve the design and operation of the system to eventually scale-up use across first Cargill’s fleet and, it is hoped, the rest of the sector.
BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies are targeting the construction of hundreds of wings over the next four years. BAR Technologies is also researching new-builds with enhanced hydrodynamic hull forms.
“A technology like WindWings doesn’t come without risk, and as an industry leader – in partnership with visionary shipowner Mitsubishi Corporation – we are not afraid to invest, take those risks and be transparent with our learnings to help our partners in maritime transition to a more sustainable future,” said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean transportation business.
“Wind is a near marginal cost-free fuel and the opportunity for reducing emissions, alongside significant efficiency gains in vessel operating costs, is substantial,” explained John Cooper, chief executive officer, BAR Technologies.
“Today is the culmination of years of pioneering research, where we’ve invested in our unique wind sail technology and sought out a skilled industrialization partner in Yara Marine Technologies, in order to provide vessel owners and operators with an opportunity to realize these efficiencies.”