Inspenet, August 22, 2023.
In order to investigate how wind energy could have a positive impact on the reduction of emissions and energy expenditure within maritime transport, the American multinational company Cargill announced yesterday the maiden voyage of the Pyxis Ocean, the ship powered by wind energy that it is equipped with special candles.
By incorporating two giant 37.5-meter-long sails, this cargo ship is expected to represent a viable option for saving fuel consumption and mitigating the release of harmful emissions.
With the maritime sector contributing about 3% of global CO₂ emissions and coming under pressure from investors and environmental groups to accelerate its decarbonisation process, various technologies are being explored, such as ammonia and carbon dioxide. methanol, in an attempt to steer clear of harmful fuels.
According to the producers, in addition to achieving notable savings in fuel consumption, each ship propelled by the force of the wind, as opposed to relying exclusively on an engine, could eventually reduce harmful emissions by up to 30% .
The Pyxis Ocean, a five-year-old vessel, has undergone an update with the addition of WindWings, large sails with wings up to 37.5 meters high, made from the same material used in wind turbines. These sails have been installed on the deck of the cargo ship.
The ship is scheduled to start its journey from Singapore bound for Brazil, possibly carrying a cargo of grain bound for Denmark, according to Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s shipping division. Afterwards, the vessel will likely remain in the North Atlantic region to take full advantage of the strong wind currents in that area.
The idea of a ship powered by wind energy
Cargill, one of the leading global shipping companies, has been investigating the feasibility of wind-assisted propulsion as a greener energy alternative to counteract the impacts of climate change.
In the past, using the wind was a common method of propelling boats before the transition to steam and diesel engines. However, at present, this practice is mostly limited to smaller vessels.
“It’s a long shot. There’s no guarantee it’s going to work,” Dieleman said.
“But it’s up to us to show the industry what’s possible and hopefully get more people to trust this technology. If we don’t get any big surprises, we’re definitely going to expand the project. The question is more how and when.” he added, referring to the construction of new ships with wind energy.
However, John Cooper, the director of the British company Bar Technologies, responsible for the design of the candles, shows a more positive approach. In an interview with the BBC, he expressed his optimism, stating that he envisions that by the year 2025, about half of newly built boats will be powered by the wind .
“The reason why I am so confident is the savings: one and a half tons of fuel per day. If we put four wings on a ship, we save six tons of fuel and 20 tons of CO₂ per day. The figures are huge,” he stressed. .