Berge Bulk has become the second ship operator to opt to fit BAR Technologies’ WindWings sails to a bulk carrier.

The Singapore owner has agreed to install four WindWings delivered by Yara Marine Technologies on the 210,000-dwt Berge Olympus (built 2018).

The 50-metre-tall rigid sails will be retrofitted in the second quarter of 2023 with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions by up to 30% through a combination of wind propulsion and route optimisation.

The installation will follow that of the Cargill-chartered, 80,962-dwt Mitsubishi Corp bulker Pyxis Ocean (built 2017), which will be deployed from early next year.

Chief executive James Marshall said the move is a great step towards Berge Bulk’s transition to zero-emission operations.

“At Berge Bulk, we believe in the results that can be achieved by harnessing wind power,” he said.

“Evaluating this groundbreaking technology, the estimated impact on reducing emissions can be at least as significant as transitional fuels.”

John Cooper, chief executive of BAR Technologies, said retrofitting WindWings technology to existing vessels means firms such as Berge Bulk can begin to make an immediate impact on decarbonising their fleets while seeing significant efficiencies in current fuel use.

“With Berge Bulk joining a pipeline of WindWings installations through 2023, we look forward to working with our partners to make significant inroads into reducing vessel carbon emissions,” he added.

Yara Marine CEO Thomas Koniordos said wind has been the most evident ship propulsion available for centuries. He said many installations are likely after the Cargill announcement.

“This collaboration between Berge Bulk, BAR Technologies and Yara Marine skyrockets the momentum for wind propulsion,” Koniordos added.

Berge Bulk owns and manages a fleet of more than 80 vessels, exceeding 14m dwt.

Cargill Ocean Transportation president Jan Dieleman has said his company could target retrofitting five to 10 ships with wind assistance technology.

But the executive, who leads the shipping division of US commodities giant Cargill, pointed to even greater promise using the technology on newbuildings that have been optimised for wind power.

How the WindWings will look. Photo: Berge Bulk/Yara Marine/BAR Technologies