Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pyxis Ocean retrofitted with ground-breaking wind technology sets sail

A cargo ship equipped with giant, rigid British-designed sails has departed on its inaugural journey. The Pyxis Ocean vessel, chartered by shipping firm Cargill, will test WindWings sails that are designed to cut fuel consumption and therefore reduce shipping’s carbon footprint.

The maritime industry faces a huge challenge to reduce average CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030 and work towards 70% by 2050. As one of the industry’s largest players, Cargill recognizes its responsibility to accelerate decarbonization progress and has brought the necessary vision and scale to convert BAR Technology’s inspiration into measurable efficiency savings.

Pyxis Ocean is the first vessel to be retrofitted with two BAR Technology’s WindWings, each measuring up to 37.5 meters in height. The wings are built of the same material as wind turbines to make them durable.

These large, solid-wing sails can be fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to harness the power of the wind and help reduce fuel usage and the shipping industry’s CO2 emissions by as much as 30%.

The manufacturer estimates that the technology could generate average fuel savings of up to 30% on new build vessels, which could be even higher if used in combination with alternative fuels.

The Pyxis Ocean’s maiden journey will chart a route from China to Brazil.

“A technology like WindWings doesn’t come without risk, and as an industry leader – in partnership with visionary shipowner Mitsubishi Corporation – we are not afraid to invest, take those risks, and be transparent with our learnings to help our partners in the maritime transition to a more sustainable future,” said Jan Dieleman, President of Cargill’s Ocean transportation business.

The installation of the wings on the ship demonstrates a step-change in attitudes towards technologies that can enable an energy transition for existing vessels. Over the coming months, the performance of the WindWings will be closely monitored to further improve their design, operation, and performance. The goal is to use the Pyxis Ocean to inform the scale-up and adoption across not only Cargill’s fleet but the industry.