News 2742 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Cargill to use wind power in cutting shipping costs

By the end of this year Cargill will literarily sail the ocean again using SkySails' wind and kite-assisted sail technology on one of its 30,000 tonne cargo ships and thus reduce fuel consumption up to 35%.

This December, Cargill will be the first company to implement SkySails' innovative wind and kite-assisted sail technology on one of its 30,000 tonne cargo ships, with the goal of reducing the vessel's fuel consumption by up to 35%, and setting a new standard for greenhouse gas reduction in the shipping industry.
Giant kite
The kite used has a surface of 320 m2 and flies between 100 and 420 m above the ship. It is connected to the cargo ship by a rope, which is attached to a computer.
Depending on conditions, the computer positions the sail to make the best use of the wind at that time.
Nearly all of the controls are automated, and the addition of the SkySails kite and technology to the ship has very little effect on the crew.
Environmental benefits
The obvious benefit of using the wind is the reduction in fuel consumption, which in turn leads to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
A recent United Nations International Maritime Organisation study on the use of wind-assisted ships revealed that up to 100 million tonnes of CO2 could be cut every year if SkySails technology was widely adopted.
The technology is still a few years away from widespread adoption but companies such as Cargill may give a push for setting a new standard.


Dick Ziggers

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