Casting off a cargo liner equipped with a giant kite
On Saturday, 15 December 2007

The first commercial cargo ship with additional propulsion by a towing kite system was ceremonially christened at the “Landungsbrücken/Überseebrücke” in Hamburg. The 132-metre ship MV Beluga SkySails will make her maiden voyage across the Atlantic to Venezuela (january), pulled by a giant computer-guided kite tethered to a 15-metre high mast.
All components of the SkySails-System have been installed on deck. The cargo vessel can now “set sail” for the very first time – starting with a towing kite of 160 square meters in size.
The kite flies up to 300 metres high to harness powerful prevailing winds and tug the 10,000-tonne ship forward, helping its diesel engine cut fuel consumption by 20 per cent.

The system, which costs 500.000 euros, will also make it possible to reduce the gas emissions in the same proportion. “The maritime transport industry emits 800 million tons of CO2 today and that will climb to more than one billion tons in five years”, declared Niels Stolberg, executive director of Beluga Shipping, the company which contributed to develop this system and hopes to install it on two other ships as broad as Beluga from here 2009.

Stolberg estimates that the capital costs are covered by the savings in fuel within three to five years. Later, when the sail is scaled up to 320 square metres in the course of the coming year in order to increase efficiency on the high seas, potential savings of 20 to 30 percent are definitely feasible and realistic.

The Skysails system cannot anything on the other hand in the event of adverse winds and cannot apply to ships of which speed exceeds 16 knots.
"There are 100.000 cargo liners in the world and we estimate that there are approximately 60.000 of them which could in theory be equipped with Skysails", Stephan Warge declares, of the company SkySails GMBH, and one of the creators of this innovation. The inventors, Beluga Shipping and Skysails, aim to get 1,500 ships fitted with kites by 2015.
Find this project and the first tests of these “cargo liners which put the veils” to click on notre page d'actualité
Video of this crossing :
Website Skysails :  -  Website Beluga Shipping :