Cargill and Mitsubishi Collaborate on Wind-Powered Sails to Decarbonize Cargo Ships
Posted 22/08/2023 14:16
In a significant effort to decarbonize cargo shipping, Cargill and Mitsubishi are partnering to retrofit large wing sails on ships, harnessing wind energy for propulsion. This innovation could lead to fuel and emissions savings of up to 30%. The Pyxis Ocean vessel, chartered by Cargill and owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, has been equipped with BAR Tech WindWings by Yara Marine. These WindWings, towering over 37 meters in height, are mounted on the ship's deck.
The installation of these wings is expected to deliver fuel and emissions savings of up to 30%, especially in the case of newly constructed vessels. The technology can also be combined with low-carbon fuels for additional savings. The Pyxis Ocean is currently on its maiden voyage, and the results of this voyage will guide the technology's scaling, as Cargill intends to apply it across its fleet. BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies are planning to manufacture hundreds of such wings over the next four years.
Jan Dieleman, President of Ocean Transportation at Cargill, emphasized the importance of decarbonization in the maritime industry and Cargill's commitment to pioneering sustainable solutions. He noted that this endeavor comes with risks but expressed Cargill's readiness to invest and collaborate to ensure a more sustainable future for the maritime sector.
This collaboration has been supported by the European Union through the CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative. An essential advantage of this innovation is its retrofit capability, allowing existing vessels to be decarbonized. Currently, more than half of the world's bulker fleets have been in operation for nearly a decade.
This development aligns with the broader push for decarbonization in the shipping sector. A recent report assessed major retailers and shipping carriers based on their commitment to decarbonization and zero-emission fuels for maritime transport, highlighting the need for the shipping industry to accelerate its efforts to address climate change.
The global shipping sector contributes around 3% of total global climate emissions, surpassing the emissions from global air travel. While the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, some environmental groups argue that these measures fall short of the requirements needed to effectively combat climate change in the shipping sector.