Berge Bulk Olympus

Berge Bulk unveils ‘world’s most powerful’ sailing cargo ship

Dry bulk shipping company Berge Bulk has fitted its Newcastlemax bulker, Berge Olympus, with four BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies.

Image credit Berge Bulk

The company said the retrofitting project makes Berge Olympus the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship.

With four WindWings installed, each possessing an aerodynamic span of 37.5 meters height and 20 meters width, the Berge Olympus is expected to save 6 tonnes of fuel per day on an average worldwide route. Lower fuel consumption is slated to yield a CO2 emission reduction of approximately 19.5 tonnes per day.

Berge Bulk announced its decision to pursue wind-assisted propulsion back in June 2022, targeting a reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 30% in combination with route optimization.

The total surface area of the four wings is 3,000 m2, more than three times the surface area of the wings of an A380 airplane (843 m2).

With these fuel savings and CO2 reductions in mind, Berge Bulk said it was looking into the potential installation of WindWings on more of its vessels that trade on routes with favorable wind conditions.

 “At Berge Bulk, we are constantly striving to enhance our efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of our existing fleet. From 2008 until today, we have achieved a remarkable 46% reduction in our CO2 emissions per tonne mile, already surpassing the 2030 IMO target for reducing carbon emissions intensity,” James Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Berge Bulk, said.

“There’s still so much to do as we accelerate the transition to new fuel in the zero-carbon future. That is why we are proud to partner with BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies to pioneer this WindWing system. The Berge Olympus is a testament to innovation and sustainability.”

The WindWings installation is part of Berge Bulk’s ambition to become carbon neutral by 2025. The plan is built on four main pillars, including improving fleet efficiency, leveraging the latest maritime technology, piloting new fuels, and investing in carbon capture.

The most recent projects saw Berge Bulk partner with industry majors to explore the benefits of biofuel and methanol as marine fuel.

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 “We’re immensely proud to be spearheading wind-assisted propulsion through the development of WindWings and through our shared vision with Berge Bulk to launch the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship,” John Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, BAR Technologies, said.

“We cannot afford to stand still in developing sustainable solutions for the shipping industry. We believe there is more to be done to harness wind power and push shipping into a greener, and more efficient era. To that end, we are already working on superior hydrodynamics and new types of accommodation blocks with several vessel designers.”

“Wind-assisted propulsion has the potential to offer immediate long-term solutions for shipping’s pathway to Net Zero,” Thomas Koniordos, Chief Executive Officer, Yara Marine Technologies said.

“We are proud to work with trusted partners such as Berge Bulk and ensure that this technology can be scaled and manufactured to shipping’s high standards, ensuring a robust and resilient supply chain that can meet industry demand.”

In addition, Berge Olympus has been retrofitted with a shaft generator system. The shaft generator is driven by the main engine to supply electric power to the vessel, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions. With a 1MW capacity, it is sized to eliminate the need to operate auxiliary engines while at sea.

Berge Olympus will sail between Brazil and China – a trade route known for having favorable wind conditions.

The latest retrofitting project comes on the heels of another milestone in the wind-assisted propulsion realm.

To remind, in August 2023, Pyxis Ocean, a Kamsarmax vessel owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and chartered by Cargill, set sail after being fitted with two WindWings, developed by BAR Technologies.

The installation of the wings took place at the COSCO shipyard in China and the system is expected to enable the ship to save 3 tonnes of fuel per day.