A bulk carrier has been selected as the first ship to receive an advanced wind-assisted propulsion and route optimization system. The project, which includes Cargill, Mitsubishi Corporation, BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies, plans to deploy BAR-developed WindWings technology aboard the Mitsubishi-owned vessel chartered to Cargil by early 2023 and is considered a demonstration of the collaboration. necessary for the maritime industry to accelerate the energy transition.
The installation will take place aboard the Singapore flag Ocean Pyxis, an 80,962 dwt bulk carrier. The five-year-old vessel, 751 feet in length, will be equipped with two WindWings delivered by Yara Marine Technologies, which is the industrialization partner for the technology. Designed by the naval architects at BAR Technologies, who leverage their experience in developing world-class racing sailboats, the WindWings system combines dynamic multi-element wings and advanced route optimization to harness the power of the wind. They report that this will result in significantly improved fuel efficiency of up to 30%, but will not require any additional crew to operate the fully automated system.
“Windwings are cutting-edge technology for using emission-free wind on board ships,” said Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine. “We are delighted to have achieved this major milestone in accelerating the delivery phase of WindWings to vessels. Cargill and MC Shipping are companies dedicated to taking bold steps to decarbonize and we are excited to partner with them.
The project to increase energy savings and reduce emissions from international shipping began in 2019 with the collaboration between Cargill and MC Shipping Singapore, the shipping arm of Mitsubishi Corporation. Yara worked with Cargill and in 2021 Yara and BAR entered into an exclusive agreement to design and implement wind assisted propulsion for the global marine industry.
“Collaboration across the marine supply chain is essential for the effective deployment of emission reduction solutions,” commented Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business. “Cargill and MC Shipping are working together to bridge the gap between shipowner and charterer, with a desire to implement technologies that will not only benefit both parties, but the industry and the planet as a whole. “
The European Union’s EU Horizon 2020 CHEK project, dedicated to demonstrating solutions for the decarbonisation of international maritime transport, is participating in the project by financing one of the two wings to be fitted out on the bulk carrier. The wing designs, which will be mounted on the ship’s deck but can be folded down, have been approved by DNV with approval in principle issued in 2021.
John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, said, “Cargill and MC Shipping’s WindWings installation demonstrates a sea change in attitude towards technologies as a means of enabling the energy transition for existing vessels. Reductions in fuel consumption through harnessing wind power as a free fuel generates the dual benefits of lower fuel costs and lower emissions, propelling the affordable global fleet on the path to decarbonization.
“The pressure is on the shipowner and charterer community to take proactive and material steps to address the immediate and growing energy transition challenges on its existing vessels, and quickly,” said Takafumi Oka, Director General, Ship Dept. of Mitsubishi Corporation. .
The partners believe that Ocean Pyxis is a good representation of the challenges the energy transition poses to the global fleet and will provide a model for the industry. They point out that 55 percent of the world’s bulk carrier fleet is up to nine years old, and they make up just over half of all ships on the water today.