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Cargill successfully tests wind assisted ship propulsion

Marks a significant step in sustainable maritime travel, achieving fuel savings and emission reductions.

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Cargill has revealed promising results from a six-month test of the Pyxis Ocean, a vessel demonstrating the potential of wind-assisted propulsion technology in renewable energy adoption for shipping. The MC Shipping Kamsarmax vessel, equipped with two WindWings® by BAR Technologies, has shown fuel savings in line with predictions, averaging a reduction of 3 tonnes of fuel per day.

Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business, praised the project's success and emphasized the collaborative effort with BAR Technologies, MC Shipping, and the ship's crew. The Pyxis Ocean, which set sail in August 2023, has navigated various major oceans and passed notable capes, demonstrating the efficacy of the WindWings®. These 37.5-meter-tall sails function like large airplane wings and are controlled from the ship's bridge through a simple system, adjusting automatically to optimize wind capture.

The WindWings® technology not only offers significant fuel savings but also aligns with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) greenhouse gas strategy. The IMO aims for 5 to 10 percent of energy to come from very low carbon sources by 2030, a target that wind-assisted propulsion could help achieve.

John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, highlighted the Pyxis Ocean's fuel savings of up to 11 tonnes per day in optimal conditions. The company anticipates even greater savings for vessels equipped with three WindWings®, potentially increasing fuel and emissions reductions by 1.5 times.

The project has also shed light on broader challenges in the global maritime system, such as adapting ports and terminals to accommodate Wind Assisted Propulsion (WAP) technology. Cargill has been proactive in engaging with over 250 ports to facilitate the integration of WAP vessels into global trade routes.

The Pyxis Ocean's performance aligns closely with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations by BAR Technologies. In ideal sailing conditions, the vessel achieved more than 11 tonnes per day in fuel savings, translating to a 37% reduction in CO2 emissions. Annually, this equates to a CO2e reduction comparable to removing 480 cars from the road.

Cargill continues to test and refine the operational, technical, and commercial aspects of the Pyxis Ocean, with an eye towards future installations and scaling up the technology. DNV, an independent third party, has been engaged to review and verify the fuel savings calculations, ensuring transparency and accuracy in the project's results.

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