A bulk carrier. File Image / Pixabay.
Using wind power to aid ship propulsion is the focus of a collaboration between commodities trader and ship charterer Cargill, technology firm Bar Technologies and naval architect Deltamarin.
The nub of the project will fit Bar Tech's windwings technology to the decks of cargo ships.
Windwings are solid wing sails that measure up to 45 metres in height. The project is in the design phase, with the technology expected to be operational by 2022.
"Through this partnership we will bring bespoke wind solutions to customers who are actively seeking to reduce CO2 emissions from their supply chain," said Jan Dieleman, who heads ocean transport at Cargill.
"Changing regulations and uncertainty about future greener marine fuels makes choosing the right vessel to charter with a long-term view complicated.
"With the WindWings technology, Cargill will be able to offer customers a solution that improves vessel efficiency, independent of the fuel or type of engine used," he said.
Wind-assisted technology is one of a number innovations designed to reduce vessels' fuel consumption. Others include hull design and solar power.