A new chapter has begun in the maritime industry, as leaders from across the field have collaborated to reshape the future of commercial shipping. United by a shared commitment to environmental responsibility and technological advancement, Cargill, BAR Technologies, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Yara Marine Technologies have joined forces to usher in a new era of sustainable and efficient maritime transportation.
Pyxis Ocean retrofitted with WindWings setting sail for its maiden voyage, August 2023. Image Credit: Cargill
The need for transformative solutions in the shipping sector cannot be understated in a world where environmental concerns are at the forefront of global discussions. This collaboration marks a significant step forward in addressing these challenges, as it introduces a groundbreaking wind propulsion technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way ships traverse the seas.
The maritime industry is on a journey to decarbonize—it’s not an easy one, but it is an exciting one.
Jan Dieleman, President of Cargill’s Ocean transportation business
WindWings: Harnessing the Power of Wind
At the forefront of this wind-powered revolution is BAR Tech’s WindWings. These cutting-edge wind propulsion devices represent a paradigm shift in the realm of maritime technology. Towering at an impressive height of over 37 m, these WindWings can be seamlessly integrated onto the decks of cargo ships, allowing the vessel to harness the true potential of wind power.1
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.
John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, BAR Technologies
The anticipation surrounding their impact is substantial, especially considering that the IMO just last month adopted an updated GHG strategy for shipping, setting 30% and 80% emissions reduction goals for 2030 and 2040.2
With this in mind, these WindWings are projected to achieve remarkable fuel and emissions savings of up to 30% for new vessels, representing a significant stride towards a more environmentally conscious maritime industry.1 Furthermore, the potential synergy with low-carbon fuels hints at even more significant efficiency gains, as Cargill projects approximately 1.5 tonnes of fuel can be saved per WindWing per day.1
The First Retrofit: Pyxis Ocean
Mitsubishi Corporation’s flagship vessel, Pyxis Ocean, which has now been reimagined and retrofitted with two towering WindWings, is leading the way for this groundbreaking revolution.
This transformation took place in China’s COSCO shipyard, and Pyxis Ocean is currently embarking on its maiden voyage, poised to demonstrate the true capabilities of this innovation in real-world conditions.
The insights garnered from Pyxis Ocean’s voyage will play a pivotal role in guiding the technology’s expansion strategy, with Cargill’s vision to adopt it fleet-wide.
Notably, BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies have already set their sights on an ambitious endeavor, aiming to manufacture hundreds of WindWings within the coming years. This evolution in maritime technology marks a profound step toward greener and more efficient shipping practices, seamlessly blending innovation and environmental responsibility into the fabric of commercial seafaring.
A Shared Responsibility
The collaboration between Cargill and Mitsubishi Corporation underscores a shared commitment to decarbonize the maritime sector. As pioneers in their respective domains, these industry leaders are demonstrating how to tread new waters and invest in innovative solutions. WindWings represent a bridge to sustainability, offering a viable solution to transition existing vessels towards greener practices.
The support from the European Union’s CHEK Horizon 2020 initiative further exemplifies the industry’s united commitment to pioneering change.
Through innovation and collaboration, these industry leaders are rewriting the narrative of commercial shipping, ushering in an era of unprecedented transformation. As the winds of change fill the sails of progress, WindWings will help to guide the maritime industry towards a horizon defined by innovation, environmental responsibility, and sustainability.
References and Further Reading
- “Cargill and Bar Technologies’ Ground-Breaking Wind Technology Sets Sail, Chartering a New Lower-Carbon Path for the Maritime Industry.” (2023) Cargill. Available at: www.cargill.com/2023/cargill-bar-technologies-wind-technology-sets-sail. Accessed 23 Aug. 2023.
- “IMO’s work to cut GHG emissions from ships” (2023) International Maritime Organization. Available at: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/Cutting-GHG-emissions.aspx. Accessed 23 Aug. 2023.