Berge Bulk Launches Powerful Sailing Cargo Ship

berge olympus cargo ship sailing with windwings

(Credit: Berge Bulk)

by | Oct 19, 2023

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The cargo industry is undergoing a revolution as another major carrier has outfitted a cargo ship with sailing power. 

Berge Bulk, one of the world’s leading independent dry bulk owners with a fleet of 85 vessels, unveiled its Newcastlemax bulker, Berge Olympus, with four retrofitted BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies. According to the company, the Berge Olympus is the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship.

The sails are large and rigid and can be adapted to optimize aerodynamic performance. Each wing has an aerodynamic span of 37.5 meters in height and 20 meters in width, and the sailing power will save 6 tons of fuel per day on an average worldwide route and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 19.5 tons per day, according to Berge Bulk. With the savings in mind, Berge Bulk said it is evaluating the impact of the WindWings on more trade routes with favorable wind conditions.

Cargo Ship Sailing Technology

The wind installation from BAR Technologies has already debuted in the cargo vessel space, with the vessel Mitsubishi Corporation’s Pyxis Ocean, chartered by Cargill. The ship is outfitted with two Bar Tech Wind Wings that are about 123 feet in height fitted to the deck. 

“Wind-assisted propulsion has the potential to offer immediate long-term solutions for shipping’s pathway to net zero,” Thomas Koniordos, CEO of Yara Marine Technologies, said in a statement. “We are proud to work with trusted partners such as Berge Bulk and ensure that this technology can be scaled and manufactured to shipping’s high standards, ensuring a robust and resilient supply chain that can meet industry demand.”

Shipping Industry Emissions Reductions

The WindWings will also help Berge Bulk toward its ambition to become carbon neutral by 2025. The initiative also aligns with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) goals to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by around 2050, plus emissions checkpoints for net-zero GHG emissions for 2030 (by at least 20%, striving for 30%) and 2040 (by at least 70%, striving for 80%).

“At Berge Bulk, we are constantly striving to enhance our efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of our existing fleet,” James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk, said in a statement. “From 2008 until today, we have achieved a remarkable 46% reduction in our CO2 emissions per tonne mile, already surpassing the 2030 IMO target for reducing carbon emissions intensity. There’s still so much to do as we accelerate the transition to new fuel in the zero-carbon future. That is why we are proud to partner with BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies to pioneer this WindWing system. The Berge Olympus is a testament to innovation and sustainability.”

In addition to the WindWings, Berge Olympus was retrofitted with a shaft generator system driven by the main engine to supply electric power to the vessel that saves fuel and reduces emissions. The system has a 1 megawatt capacity that is designed to eliminate the need to operate auxiliary engines while at sea.

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