The maritime industry is responsible for around 3% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and investors and environmental activists are putting increasing pressure on companies active in the industry to accelerate their decarbonisation actions, according to Reuters.
That's why companies that transport both cargo and passengers by water have started testing various new fuels to power their ships, such as ammonia or methanol.
For exemple, Nike officials recently announced the launch of the world's first hydrogen-powered inland container ship, which will be used to transport goods from the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands to Belgium, at Nike’s European Logistics Campus (ELC).
At the same time, maritime logistics company Maersk recently announced the plans to retrofit a fossil-powered container ship in an industry-first move. Once modernized, the ship will be able to run on green methanol.
The Americans at Cargill, for example, started exploring wind propulsion as one of the cleanest options. We know very well that wind was used to propel ships before the transition to steam and diesel engines, but in modern times wind power has been used mostly for small ships.
A collaboration between Cargill, BAR Technologies, Mitsubishi Corporation and Yara Marine Technologies has the potential to decarbonize cargo vessels by up to 30%, according to a press release from the company.
At the moment, Cargill wants to see how wind power can be used for large ships carrying thousands of tons of demand, for example, but also to find out what the costs and economic benefits of this type of power are for the transport of goods by sea.
Mitsubishi Corporation’s Pyxis Ocean, chartered by Cargill, is the first vessel to be retrofitted with two WindWings, which are large wing sails measuring up to 37,5 meters in height that can be fitted to the deck of cargo ships to harness the power of wind.
Produced by industrialization partner Yara Marine Technologies, they are expected to generate average fuel savings of up to 30 percent on new build vessels, which could be even higher if used in combination with alternative fuels. The installation of the wings took place at the COSCO shipyard in China and the Pyxis Ocean is now on the water, conducting her maiden voyage.