The cargo vessel Pyxis Ocean, operated by Cargill Ocean Transportation and equipped with high-tech rigid WindWings sails developed by BAR Technologies, has completed its first six-month trial. The results are encouraging.

The rigid WindWings sails, which are as tall as a 10-story building, performed as expected, saving an average of 3 tons of fuel per day. Under the best conditions and good winds, this figure rose to 11 tons per day.

The bulk carrier Pyxis Ocean is 229 meters long, owned by Mitsubishi Corporation, and belongs to the Kamsarmax class. This is the maximum size of ships that can be serviced at the port of Camsar in Guinea-Bissau, which has one of the world’s largest bauxite terminals. The standard fuel consumption of Kamsarmax ships is 29-30 tons per day, so the sails save at least 10% of fuel. In fact, WindWings developers predict that this technology will reduce emissions from maritime transport by about 30% in the future.

“We are encouraged by the results and have learned a great deal about implementing wind assisted propulsion on dry bulk vessels. <…> We are on the leading edge of change in the shipping industry and believe technologies that harness the wind could be an important, cost-effective way to achieve our decarbonization goals in the short, medium and long-term,” said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s Ocean Transportation business.

The Pyxis Ocean bulk carrier has only two WindWings sails, but BAR Technologies expects most Kamsarmax-class vessels to be equipped with three of them, which will further increase fuel economy and reduce emissions by 1.5 times.

Overall, maritime transport accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions from transportation.

“With Cargill are now able to validate our performance predictions and modelling in real-world conditions, it’s an exciting time as we begin to roll out WindWings® production globally,” says John Cooper, BAR Technologies CEO.