The world’s largest kite is to be installed on the Greek-owned Aghia Marina dry bulk cargo vessel.
Cargill Ocean Transportation signed a supply agreement with towing kite propulsion systems manufacturer SkySails last February, in its bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using wind power technology. The huge 320km² kite will be installed early next year.
The Anbros Maritime-owned, 170 metre-long Aghia Marina is currently on a long-time charter with Cargill and typically transports cargos of agricultural and industrial raw materials. It has a service speed of up to 14 knots and can carry about 28,500 tonnes of dry bulk cargoes at any one time, making it the largest vessel to use the technology created by SkySails.
Hamburg-based SkySails says the kite generates enough propulsion to reduce bunker fuel consumption by up to 35% in ideal sailing conditions. It will be connected to the ship by rope and will fly in a figure-of-eight formation at a height of between 100 and 420m.
“As Cargill is one of the world’s largest charterers of dry bulk freight, we take our environmental stewardship commitments very seriously and actively seek opportunities to help raise industry standards in a number of areas,” said Roger Janson, head of Cargill, which is headquartered in Geneva.
George J Angelakis, Director of Anbros, said: “We are honoured to have been selected by Cargill to pioneer this ground-breaking green technology. We are committed to the success of this project in the hope that it will usher in a new era of green shipping.”
SkySails will also be responsible for training the crew to operate the kite, which is computer-controlled by an automatic pod to maximise wind benefits.
Stephen Wrage, Managing Director of SkySails said: “We are confident that this partnership will lead to further developments and in particular see great potential to incorporate our technology on even larger ships in the future.”