Wind-assisted propulsion with the potential to cut large ships’ fuel consumption by up to 30% has until now existed only on the computer screens of a few idealistic naval architects.

This is about to change with projects in the running to take wind propulsion to commercial scale in the near future — and potentially even, in tandem with other technologies, create truly low-carbon tankers and bulkers.

Leading the way in terms of confirmed installations is trader and charterer Cargill, which plans to fit two of BAR Technologies’ WindWings rigid sails to a kamsarmax bulker that will be in operation by early 2022.