Pioneering wind powered cargo ship

A maiden voyage has begun by a British-designed special wind-powered cargo ship. Chartered by Cargill, the vessel is travelling from China to Brazil as its first real-world test with the wind-wing technology.

The vessel uses wing-sized WindWings sails to cut fuel consumption and therefore contributes to reducing shipping’s carbon footprint, on our course to a greener future.

With the industry being responsible for an estimated 2.1% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and with increasing pressures to be greener, the introduction of this vessel could not have come at a better time.

Pyxis Ocean’s WindWings are folded down when the ship is in port and opened again once at sea. They stand 123ft (37.5m) tall and are made of the same material as wind turbines in order to make them more durable. This enables the vessel to be blown along by the wind as opposed to having to solely rely on its engine. Eventually, it is hoped that this will reduce a cargo ship’s lifetime emissions by 30%.

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill Ocean Transportation, spoke to the BBC, commenting that the industry is on a “journey to decarbonise”. admitting that there was “no silver bullet” but that this technology demonstrates how fast things are developing and changing.

“Five, six years ago, if you would ask people in shipping about decarbonisng, they would say ‘well, it’s going to be very difficult, I don’t see this happening any time soon’,” he told the BBC.

“Five years later, I think the narrative has changed completely and everybody is really convinced that they need to do their part – everybody is just struggling a little on how we’re going to do this.

“That’s why we’ve taken the role as one of the larger players to underwrite some of the risk, and try things, and take the industry forward.”

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Editor, International Trade Magazine
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