Wind Power Continues to Find Backers in the Ocean Shipping Sector

UK – US – SWEDEN – Joining a plethora of others we have reported previously as promoting wind powered vessel technology comes a consortium including Hampshire based simulation-driven marine engineering consultancy BAR Technologies, Minneapolis headquartered Cargill, which has a swathe of interests including shipping, and Swedish Yara Marine Technologies which develops and implements emission-reduction technologies in the maritime sector. The new product is called, somewhat clumsily, BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies (WindWings), and the latter company will offer it in its portfolio to ship owners globally with procurement, construction, installation, service and training for WindWings customers in global locations, ensuring ready availability of the technology to meet the needs of the shipping industry worldwide. This process will include WindWings for the first commercial retrofit to a Cargill vessel, expected for delivery in 2022.

The three project partners are in regular dialogue with class society DNV, and have already been through the rigours of Hazard workshops in order to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the product, ensuring significant progress towards Approval In Principle. The technology is claimed to offer ‘up to’ a 30% reduction in fuel consumption for bulk carriers, tankers and other large shipping vessels, by combining wind propulsion with route optimisation. The product features large solid wing sails that measure up to 45 metres in height, fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to harness the power of the wind.

This original size will be one of three specifications to be brought to market.  Under the terms of the agreement, Yara and BAR Tech will sell WindWings to the wider shipping industry, with BAR Tech retaining the obligation to continue to innovate and establish additional WindWings offerings. John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, BAR Technologies, said:

“Yara Marine has consistently demonstrated its ability and dedication at providing commercial shipping operators with new emission reducing technologies, throughout the value chain, which made them a natural partner for the programme. Working with Yara to deliver the first installation of WindWings for Cargill sets the benchmark as a true industry first, and we believe that the combination of expertise afforded by all parties marks out the technology for long-term commercial success. Moving forward, the time is right for WindWings to be offered across the global industry, by benefitting from Yara Marine’s extensive network and experience.”

As the global maritime sector sharpens its decarbonisation focus, with the International Maritime Organisation targeting a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030, the shipping industry is understandably under growing pressure to swiftly identify technologies that will facilitate significant emissions reduction. Thomas Koniordos, Chief Executive Officer, Yara Marine Technologies, commented: “As we look to set the shipping industry on track to decarbonise, BAR Technologies’ innovative product will be a crucial step on that journey.

We already have most of the value chain set up and we are getting ready to sell and deploy this breath-taking technology. Since we first began discussions with BAR Technologies, we’ve been increasingly impressed with the scope of the technology, and the firm’s commitment to continue to refine and develop the offering. We’re very much looking forward to beginning work on behalf of Cargill for the first vessel installations.”

With recent economic volatility experienced throughout the sector, technology solutions must provide significant operational savings in order to be rapidly adopted by shipping firms weathering downward pressure on revenues, a point reinforced by Jan Dieleman, President, Ocean Transportation, Cargill, who said: “Wind propulsion is increasingly important due to its high energy saving potential and because it works well in any combination with other devices and fuels. WindWings is a novel solution which is a great addition to our toolkit and through our partnership we will bring bespoke wind solutions to customers who are actively seeking to reduce CO2 emissions from their supply chain.

We’re pleased that Yara Marine will be partnering with BAR Technologies on WindWings, as it brings our first retrofit ever closer.”