Friday, July 8, 2011

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Cargill signs agreement for world’s first kite-powered vessel

Gobal food giant Cargill announced it has signed an agreement with Greek ship owner/manager Anbros Maritime S.A. (Anbros) to install the world's largest kite on its Aghia Marina dry bulk cargo vessel.

The 170-meter-long Aghia Marina, built in 1994, typically hauls agricultural and industrial raw materials cargoes, Cargill said.

The 28,500-ton vessel would be the largest vessel to have ever used wind power technology, according to Cargill.

The technology itself was created by Hamburg-based SkySails GmbH (SkySails).

Last February, Cargill first announced it had signed a supply agreement with SkySails that aims to utilize the wind power technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry.

The SkySails patented technology deploys the kite ahead of the vessel and is connected to the ship by rope and flies in a figure-eight pattern at a height of between 100 and 420 meters, generating enough propulsion to reduce consumption of bunker fuel by up to 35 percent in ideal sailing conditions, according to Cargill and SkySails.

The SkySails towing kite will be connected to the ship by rope and will fly in a figure-of-eight formation at a height of between 100 to 420 meters. It is computer-controlled by an automatic pod to maximize wind benefits.

"We are delighted to partner with Anbros and announce the Aghia Marina as the largest vessel to use the SkySails technology to date", said Roger Janson, head of Cargill's ocean transportation business.

"As Cargill is one of the world's largest charterers of dry bulk freight, we take our environmental stewardship commitments very seriously and actively seek opportunities to help raise industry standards in a number of areas. We've had an excellent relationship with Anbros for many years and are delighted that they see the potential of this technology from both an environmental and fuel saving perspective," Janson said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the 320m2 kite will be installed on the Aghia Marina in the first quarter of 2012, and the system is scheduled to be fully operational soon thereafter, Cargill said.



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