Berge Bulk unveils wind power-assisted sailing cargo ship

Dry bulk ship owners Berge Bulk have today (October 17, 2023) unveiled Berge Olympus, the company’s Newcastlemax bulker retrofitted with BARTech WindWings developed by Yara Marine Technologies.

Berge Bulk

The WindWings installation is part of Berge Bulk’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2025, and marks the Berge Olympus as the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship.

With four WindWings installed, each with an aerodynamic span of 37.5m in height and 20m in width, Berge Bulk said the Berge Olympus will save six tonnes of fuel per day on an average worldwide route and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 19.5 tonnes per day.

This initiative aligns with the new IMO goals to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by 2050, as well as suggested check-points for international shipping to reach net zero emissions for 2030 (by at least 20 per cent) and 2040 (by at least 70 per cent, striving for 80 per cent).

Berge Olympus has also been fitted with a shaft generator system, which is driven by the main engine to supply electric power to the vessel, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions. With a 1MW capacity, it can eliminate the need to operate auxiliary engines while at sea.

In a statement, James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk, said: “From 2008 until today, we have achieved a remarkable 46 per cent 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.”

Berge Olympus will sail between Brazil and China, a trade route known for having favourable wind conditions, to maximise the WindWings technology.

John Cooper, CEO of BAR Technologies, stated: “We cannot afford to stand still in developing sustainable solutions for the shipping industry. We believe there is more to be done to harness wind power and push shipping into a greener, and more efficient era.

“To that end, we are already working on superior hydrodynamics and new types of accommodation blocks with several vessel designers.”

Berge Bulk will evaluate the ship’s fuel savings and CO2 reductions, with the aim to install WindWings on more of its vessels that trade on routes with similar, favourable wind conditions.