by Tina Olivero

    Cargill & BAR Technologies’ WindWings sets sail, chartering new lower-carbon path for maritime industry

    21s August 2023

    Cargill and BAR Technologies’ groundbreaking WindWings innovation sets sail on open waters, testing new technology that will bring cutting-edge wind propulsion to commercial shipping for the first time. 

    Mitsubishi Corporation’s Pyxis Ocean, chartered by Cargill, is the first vessel to be retrofitted with two WindWings, which are large wing sails measuring up to 45 meters in height that can be fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to harness the power of the wind. Manufactured by industrialization partner Yara Marine Technologies, they are expected to generate average fuel savings of up to 30 percent on newly built vessels, which could be even higher if used in combination with alternative fuels. The installation of the wings took place at the COSCO shipyard in China and the Pyxis Ocean is now on the water, conducting her maiden voyage.

    “The maritime industry is on a journey to decarbonize—it’s not an easy one, but it is an exciting one,” said Jan Dieleman, President of Cargill’s Ocean transportation business.  “At Cargill, we have a responsibility to pioneer decarbonizing solutions across all our supply chains to meet our customer’s needs and the needs of the planet. A technology like WindWings doesn’t come without risk, and as an industry leader – in partnership with  visionary shipowner MC Shipping – we are not afraid to invest, take those risks and be transparent with our learnings to help our partners in the maritime transition to a more sustainable future.”

    The installation demonstrates a step-change in attitudes towards technologies that can enable an energy transition for existing vessels. The maritime industry faces a huge challenge to reduce average CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and is working towards 50% by 2050. The WindWings project, which is co-funded by the European Union as part of the CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative, can help the industry meet those targets by offering a retrofit solution that is capable of decarbonizing existing vessels, which is particularly relevant given that 55 percent of the world’s bulker fleet are up to nine years in age.

    “If international shipping is to achieve its ambition of reducing CO2 emissions, then innovation must come to the fore. Wind is a near marginal cost-free fuel and the opportunity for reducing emissions, alongside significant efficiency gains in vessel operating costs, is substantial. Today is the culmination of years of pioneering research, where we’ve invested in our unique wind sail technology and sought out a skilled manufacturing partner in Yara Marine Technologies, in order to provide vessel owners and operators with an opportunity to realize these efficiencies,” said John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, BAR Technologies.

    The performance of the sails will be closely monitored over the coming months to further improve their design, operation, and performance, with the aim that the Pyxis Ocean will be used to inform the scale-up and adoption across not only Cargill’s fleet but the industry. BAR Technologies is already planning to build hundreds of wings over the next four years and is also researching new builds with differing hydrodynamic forms.

    More about the WindWings Project

    • The WindWing project is part of a project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 955286
    • By harnessing the power of wind, WindWings can help vessel owners meet new CII rules. As wind power is not only zero emissions but is also non-depleting and hugely predictable, it offers significant efficiency gains in vessel operating costs. 
    • On an average global route, WindWings can save 1.5 tonnes of fuel per WindWing per day – with the possibility of saving more on trans-ocean routes. This can translate into vessel owners saving heavy fuel oil (HFO) at c$800 per tonne, which will become even more important when saving against future fuels which will undoubtedly cost a lot more.
    • Cargill Ocean Transportation is a leading freight-trading organization that charters around 650 vessels worldwide at any one time. Founded in 1956 in Geneva, we benefit from the rich heritage and expert capabilities of Cargill’s global operations in food, agriculture and commodities trading.

    About Cargill

    Cargill’s 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, they connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. They combine 156 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, they are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.

    For more information, visit Cargill.com and their News Center.

    About BAR Technologies

    With an impressive heritage, having originally spun out from the former British, America’s Cup Team, BAR Tech provides a wide range of design and engineering consultancy services with a focus on 4 key sectors; Workboats and Commercial Vessels, Shipping, Special Projects and Leisure Marine and Yachts.

    BAR Technologies offers a cohesive team of the world’s lead naval architects and optimization specialists; fluid dynamists; mechanical, structural and composite engineers; and control strategy and system specialists; They offer data and simulation engineers with access to the latest commercial knowledge, using bespoke in-house design tools.

    For more details please visit: https://www.bartechnologies.uk/

    Tina Olivero

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