A newly built cargo vessel was towed by the innovative wind propulsion of the Hamburg-based company SkySails on the North Sea near Bremerhaven, Germany for the first time. The 160 sq.m SkySails supported the main engine of the 132m long Multi Purpose Heavy Lift Carrier MS “Beluga SkySails”, of the Bremen-based Beluga Shipping, with approx. five tons tractive force at low wind.
The cargo ship is set to sail from Bremen to Venezuela and gain first experiences with the new system during the maiden voyage. “The maiden voyage marks the beginning of the practical testing during regular shipping operations of the SkySails-System. During the next few months we will finally be able to prove that our technology works in practice und significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions,” said Stephan Wrage, Managing Director, SkySails GmbH & Co. KG.
The shipping company and the manufacturer calculate that by using the towing kite system, a ship’s average annual fuel costs can be reduced by 10 to 35%, depending on the prevailing wind conditions. Under optimal wind conditions, SkySails estimates that fuel consumption can temporarily be cut by up to 50%. The first results are to be expected in the next few months.