The use of wind-assisted propulsion technology is growing with the partnership between BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies reporting their second project with large bulk carriers in a week. Singapore-based Berge Bulk will install the WindWings technology on one of its dry bulk carriers. As an early adopter of wind-assisted propulsion technology, Berge will be evaluating what it is calling a pivotal technology to reduce the emissions of its bulker fleet.

“At Berge Bulk, we believe in the results that can be achieved by harnessing wind power. Evaluating this groundbreaking technology, the estimated impact on reducing emissions can be at least as significant as transitional fuels,” said James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk.

Berge Bulk has agreed to equip its Newcastlemax bulker Berge Olympus with BAR Tech WindWings supplied by Yara Marine Technologies. The four-year-old bulker that will be used to evaluate the technology is 984 feet long and 211,150 dwt. The vessel is registered in the UK. According to the companies, the WindWings will be installed on board Berge Bulk’s vessel in the second quarter of 2023.

“A successful transition to a lower-carbon future can only be achieved through an inclusive approach,” said Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies. “Wind has been the most evident ship propulsion for centuries. We are excited that industry-leading companies like Berge Bulk have the vision and commitment to equip their vessels with wind-assisted propulsion technologies.”

To date, most of the shipping industry’s installations of wind-assisted propulsion have focused on wind rotor technology. Several companies have reported achieving meaningful fuel savings and reductions in emissions deploying the rotors while the solid wind sail technology has also been progressing in development. BAR Technologies is leveraging its experience in developed world-class racing sailboats to develop its technologies for the WindWings. Japan’s Mitsui O.S. K. Lines is partnered with Oshima Shipbuilding to commercialize a similar telescoping rigid wind sail that they plan to deploy on a bulker for the first time by the end of 2022.

Barr Technologies’ WindWings are large, solid wing sails that will measure up to 160 feet in height. The design calls for four of the sails to be installed on the Berge Olympus. According to the companies, the sail technology will be capable of reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent through a combination of wind propulsion and route optimization. The system is fully automated.

“By retrofitting WindWings technology to existing vessels, firms like Berge Bulk can begin to make an immediate impact on decarbonizing their fleets while at the same time seeing significant efficiencies in current fuel use,” said John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies. “With Berge Bulk joining a pipeline of WindWings installations through 2023, we look forward to working with our partners to make significant inroads into reducing vessel carbon emissions.”

BAR Technologies announced in November 2021 an Approval-in-Principle (AiP) by DNV for BAR Tech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies. This AiP assessed the system’s design specifications, safety and usability considerations, and general applicability to sea-going vessels. The AiP also examined the deployment and functionality of WindWings in operation, use in extreme weather conditions, and system redundancy.

Last week, BAR and Yara announced their first agreement for the installation of the technology. Early in 2023, they will install two WindWings aboard the Singapore-flagged Pyxis Ocean, an 80,962 dwt bulk carrier. The five-year-old vessel, which is 751 feet in length, is owned by Mitsubishi and operates under a long-term charter to Cargill. 

Source: The Maritime Executive