What is claimed to be the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship will soon be plying the waters between Brazil and China. The favorable wind conditions on this trade route will help propel the Berge Olympus, a Newcastlemax bulker in the service of Berge Bulk equipped with four BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies that use wind power to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2).

The solid wing sails offer up to a 30% average fuel reduction for bulk carriers, tankers and other large shipping vessels on global routes by combining wind propulsion with route optimization. With four WindWings installed, each offering an aerodynamic span of 37.5 m in height and 20 m in width, the Berge Olympus will save 6 tons/day of fuel on an average worldwide route and, in the process, reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 19.5 tons/day.

The Berge Olympus bulk carrier ship with four WindWings. Source: Berge BulkThe Berge Olympus bulk carrier ship with four WindWings. Source: Berge Bulk

Deployment of this rigid sail technology will aid the maritime sector is its quest to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and 70% by 2040 as reflected in new UN International Maritime Organization regulations. In addition, the Berge Olympus has been retrofitted with a shaft generator system driven by the main engine to supply electric power to the vessel, further enhancing fuel savings and emission reductions. The 1 MW capacity system is sized to eliminate the need to operate auxiliary engines while at sea.

Efforts to quell the energy consumption and environmental impacts of cargo ships are ramping up by naval engineers in other regions. A chemical tanker in the service of Norway-based Odfjell will soon be fitted with a wind-assisted propulsion system engineered by bound4blue. When completed in 2024, the vessel will be the first of its class to deploy this new suction sail technology.

The autonomous rigid sail system — eSAIL — is a complementary propulsion system that produces effective thrust from existing winds, reducing the main engine power required and delivering fuel consumption and pollutant emissions reductions of up to 40%.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com