Yara Marine and BAR Partner for Wind Sail Technology on Cargill Vessel

wind sail technology for commercial vessels
Concept design for the Cargill bulk carrier being developed by BAR and Deltamarine (BAR Technologlies)

Published Apr 19, 2021 3:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

Efforts to expand the use of wind-assisted propulsion took another step forward as Yara Marine Technologies and BAR Technologies announced a new partnership to design and implement wind-assisted propulsion for the global shipping industry. Building on a project already underway to install solid sails aboard Cargill bulk carriers, the companies are looking to expand the use of the solid wing sail technology to provide the commercial shipping industry a near-term solution to reduce carbon emissions.

To increase the availability and support shipowners in utilizing the technology, Yara Marine will offer BAR’s WindWings in its portfolio and manage the procurement, construction, installation, service, and training for WindWings. The companies believe that the solid sail technology will be a solution for the shipping industry which they note is under growing pressure to swiftly identify technologies that will facilitate significant emissions reduction.  

“As we look to set the shipping industry on track to decarbonize, BAR Technologies’ product will be a crucial step on that journey,” said Thomas Koniordos, Chief Executive Officer, Yara Marine Technologies. “We already have most of the value chain set up and we are getting ready to sell and deploy this technology. We’re very much looking forward to beginning work on behalf of Cargill for the first vessel installations.”

Formed in 2016 as a spin-off from Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR), BAR Technologies is working to commercialize technologies developed in America’s Cup yacht racing. The company is developing solid sail technology suitable for large commercial vessels. The product features large solid wing sails that measure up to 150 feet in height, which will be fitted to the deck of bulk cargo ships to harness the power of the wind. BAR says that the WindWings offers up to a 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption for bulk carriers, tankers, and other large shipping vessels, by combining wind propulsion with route optimization.

In October 2020, Cargill announced it was joining in a partnership with BAR Technologies and naval architect Deltamarin to develop the new wind-powered ships. The project funded by the EU 2020 Horizon program will fit a Cargill Kamsarmax bulk carrier with BAR’s wind sail technology while also developing a new generation of bulk carriers fitted with wind assistance technology. According to BAR, the vessel will also feature automated, optimized vessel routing, waste heat recovery, hull form optimization, and a gate rudder. By designing the overall layout to optimize the benefits from the combination of technologies used, the efficiency savings will be maximized. The first commercial retrofit to a Cargill vessel is expected to be delivered in 2022.

“Working with Yara to deliver the first installation of WindWings for Cargill sets the benchmark as a true industry first, and we believe that the combination of expertise afforded by all parties marks out the technology for long-term commercial success,” said John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, BAR Technologies. “Moving forward, the time is right for WindWings to be offered across the global industry, by benefitting from Yara Marine’s extensive network and experience.”

BAR Technologies, Cargill, and other WindWings project partners report that they are in regular dialogue with DNV as the classification society for the project. They report that they have already been through the rigors of Hazard workshops to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the product, ensuring significant progress towards Approval In Principle.

“Wind propulsion is increasingly important due to its high energy saving potential and because it works well in any combination with other devices and fuels,” said Jan Dieleman, President, Ocean Transportation, Cargill. “WindWings is a novel solution which is a great addition to our toolkit and through our partnership, we will bring wind solutions to customers who are actively seeking to reduce CO2 emissions from their supply chain.”

Working together the companies expect to accelerate the commercialization of solid wind sail technology. They are planning to bring three size specifications to market suited to a broad range of commercial vessels.