Cargill, an industrial manufacturer will start producing a 320m kite with German company SkySails that will help drag tankers of up to 30,000 deadweight tonnes.
The kite will reduce greenhouse gases in the shipping industry by reduce fuel consumption by up to 35% in perfect sailing conditions.
The kite will connect to the ship by rope and is computer-controlled to maximize wind benefits at a height of up to 420 metres. An automated system allows the kite to adjust its flight path and requires minimal action by the crew.
G.J. van den Akker, head of Cargill’s ocean transportation business said: “The shipping industry currently supports 90 percent of the world’s international physical trade. In a world of finite resources, environmental stewardship makes good business sense. In addition to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, the SkySails technology aims to significantly reduce fuel consumption and costs.”
According to a United Nations study, up to 100 million tonned of CO2 could be saved every year by the use of such technologies.