Huge solid sails could cut fossil fuel use by 30 per cent for shipping industry

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UK-based consultancy BAR Technologies (BARTech) and Norwegian Yara Marine Technologies are to work on the design and implementation of wind-assisted propulsion technologies that they say could slash the use of fossil fuels for the global shipping industry.

The newly renamed BARTech WindWings are ship-based wind sails designed to offer up to a 30% reduction in fuel consumption for bulk carriers, tankers, and other large shipping vessels.

The WindWings technology is a combination of ship-based wind propulsion and route optimisation which is designed to increase the fuel efficiency of vessels, depending on whether the installation of three or four WindWings is a retrofit or combined with a fully optimised newbuild hull.

The solid wind sails, that measure up to 45 metres in height, will now be a part of Yara Marine’s portfolio available for ship owners globally, and the company will also manage the value chain of procurement, construction, installation, service, and training for the WindWings in global locations.

Yara Marine’s involvement will begin with the first commercial retrofit of a Cargill vessel with WindWings, which is expected for delivery in 2022.

Cargill, one of the shipping industry’s largest players, chartering a fleet of more than 600 vessels at any one time, signed on with BAR Technologies in October 2020 along with naval architect Deltamarin Finland to help commercialise the WindWings technology.

“As we look to set the shipping industry on track to decarbonise, BAR Technologies’ innovative product will be a crucial step on that journey,” said Thomas Koniordos, Chief Executive Officer, Yara Marine Technologies.

“We already have most of the value chain set up and we are getting ready to sell and deploy this breath-taking technology.

A virtual demonstration of WindWings can be accessed here.

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