Giant 150-Foot Sails Could Hit the Seas on Cargo Ships in 2022

A firm aims to reduce international shipping's carbon emissions with sails on cargo ships by 2022.
Brad Bergan
The photo credit line may appear like thisBAR Technologies / YouTube

Cargo ships moving valuable goods worldwide might feature 150-foot sails to reduce carbon emissions on or before 2022, according to a press release announcing a partnership between Cargill and BAR Technologies.


New 150-foot sails may appear on cargo ships in 2022

 The company behind the novel idea — BAR Technologies — is a firm Olympian Ben Ainslie set up to optimize his edge in competitions. The project is called WindWings, and — while it's still in the design phase, BAR claims the sails will be 150 ft tall.

As of writing, the firm is in talks with several maritime giants to adapt the sails to their vessels, Daily Mail reports.

Not unlike ships from centuries past, the sails will convert wind energy directly into propulsion. But BAR's modern rendition will emphasize efficiency — potentially reducing cargo transports' total reliance on diesel-powered engines — slicing down the volume of pollutants produced from the industry.

BAR partners with Cargill, Deltmarin

International shipping produces more emissions than the entire German nation. If the industry were itself a country, it would be the sixth heaviest polluter via CO2 in the world.

The initial rollout of the giant sails will involve installation on product tankers — before a later addition to dry bulk vessels.

To bring the WindWings initiative to market, BAR Technologies has partnered with U.S. agribusiness group Cargill — along with a naval architect company called Deltamarin.

International shipping aims for lower carbon emissions

Cargill's Ocean Transportation business President Jan Dieleman said the new partnership will help the business provide clients who want lower emissions from supply chains — with a bespoke (or customized) solution.

"Through this partnership, we will bring bespoke wind solutions to customers who are actively seeking to reduce CO2 emissions from their supply chain," said Dieleman. "Changing regulations and uncertainty about future greener marine fuels makes choosing the right vessel to charter with a long-term view complicated."

"With the WindWings technology, Cargill will be able to offer customers a solution that improves vessel efficiency, independent of the fuel or type of engine used," Dieleman added.

As the changes brought on from the climate crisis multiply — from California wildfires to bizarre sinkholes in Siberia — the industries that bring effective solutions capable of sufficiently reducing carbon emissions are most likely to last into the 21st century. And once BAR fits cargo ships with 150-ft sails, they could be one step closer to sustainability.


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