New project aims to utilise cutting-edge wind propulsion technology to bring down the vast carbon emissions of commercial shipping

A maritime design specialist spun out of Sir Ben Ainslie’s yacht racing team (remember Ben won medals at five consecutive Olympics) will install solid 45-metre sails on cargo vessels with the aim of cutting emissions. Callum Jones discusses latest developments in an article on The Times website.

 

Wind in the sails of emissions challenge

A maritime design specialist spun out of Sir Ben Ainslie’s yacht racing team will install solid 45-metre sails on cargo vessels with the aim of cutting emissions.

Bar Technologies expects to have its Wind Wings on the water by 2022 as part of a new venture with Cargill, the American agribusiness group, and Deltamarin, the naval architect.

The project aims to utilise cutting-edge wind propulsion technology to bring down the vast carbon emissions of commercial shipping. Were it a country, the international shipping industry would be the world’s sixth largest generator of carbon dioxide emissions, ahead of Germany. The cost of decarbonising the sector is put at $1.4 trillion to $1.9 trillion.

Wind Wings, which is in the design phase, will be erected on board product tankers before being added to dry bulk vessels.

Cargill, which is one of the world’s biggest agricultural commodity traders, charters more than 600 vessels at any one time. It has 160,000 staff in 70 countries.

Jan Dieleman, president of its Ocean Transportation business, said that the partnership would allow the business to provide clients seeking to lower emissions from their supply chain with a bespoke solution. “With the Wind Wings technology, Cargill will be able to offer customers a solution that improves vessel efficiency, independent of the fuel or type of engine used,” he said.

Bar Technologies was formed four years ago to generate the design and technological advances needed for Britain’s attempt to win back the America’s Cup. The business is chaired by Martin Whitmarsh, former team principal of McLaren’s Formula One motor racing team. John Cooper, former chief business officer at McLaren, is its chief executive.

Mr Whitmarsh welcomed the venture, which he said would “bring this ground-breaking technology to life”, and expressed hope that Cargill and Bar could collaborate to explore more “efficiency opportunities”.

Mr Cooper called wind a “near-marginal cost-free fuel” for traders aiming for make supply chains greener. “The opportunity for reducing emissions, alongside significant efficiency gains in vessel operating costs, is substantial,” he said.

British maritime industry leaders have urged the government to provide a £1 billion funding package to help the country, which relies on sea freight for the majority of its imports and exports, to hit its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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