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Cargill-chartered Mitsubishi bulker picked for WindWings test

Two large wind sails developed by BAR Technologies to be retrofitted to five-year-old kamsarmax.

A Mitsubishi Corp bulk carrier will be the first ship fitted with BAR Technologies’ WindWings wind sail technology under tests agreed with charterer Cargill. The 80,962-dwt Pyxis Ocean (built 2017) will be retrofitted with two WindWings that are expected to generate average fuel savings of 30%.

Yara Marine Technologies will deliver the sails as part of a collaboration that kicked off in 2019 between Cargill and MC Shipping’s Singapore branch — the shipping arm of Mitsubishi Corp. Yara Marine subsequently became Bar Technologies’ industrial partner.

Deployment is expected at the beginning of 2023.

One of the wings will be funded by the European Union as part of its Horizon 2020 Project, dedicated to demonstrating solutions for decarbonising international shipping.

With vessels up to nine years in age comprising 55% of the world’s bulker fleet, and 51% of all ships on the water, the five-year-old Pyxis Ocean represents shipping’s need for retrofit solutions capable of decarbonising existing vessels, the companies said.

“The pressure is on the shipowning and chartering community to take proactive and material action to tackle the immediate and uprising challenges towards the energy transition on its existing vessels, and fast,” said Takafumi Oka, general manager, ship department, at Mitsubishi.

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation division, said: “Cargill and MC Shipping are working together to bridge the gap between shipowner and charterer, with a desire to implement technologies that will benefit not just both parties, but the industry and the planet at large.” Bar Technologies chief executive John Cooper said the installation demonstrates a step-change in attitudes towards technologies that can enable an energy transition for existing vessels.

“With projected reductions in average fuel consumption of up to 30% for a full-scale deployment, we anticipate that WindWings will significantly outperform its contemporaries in the wind propulsion arena,” he said.

The installation will be the first of many, added Yara Marine chief executive Thomas Koniordos.


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