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    5. Wind-powered oil tanker embarks on iconic voyage


    Wind-powered oil tanker embarks on iconic voyage

    Dutch company MT Chemical Challenger weighs 16,000 tons and is equipped with four rigid aluminum “sails”. Photo: NICK GAMMON/AFP

    An oil tanker equipped with sails has set off on a landmark voyage from Rotterdam to test the potential of wind power in shipping.

    The Dutch-owned MT Chemical The 16,000-ton Challenger was equipped with rigid aluminum “sails” that reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.

    The vessel was built in Japan and is equipped with four sails 16 meters high. The ship's owner hopes this technology will reduce engine usage.< /p>

    Niels Grotz, chief executive of Chemship, said: “As an avid sailor, I have long thought about how we can make our industry more sustainable.

    “Today we are launching our first wind boat. a chemical tanker that we hope will serve as an example for the rest of the world.”

    Chemship boss Nils Grotz hopes his wind-powered tanker will “serve as an example for the rest of the world.” Photo: NICK GAMMON/AFP

    His company operates a fleet of tankers that transport chemicals and other products between ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean.

    The use of sail power could be a key tool in reducing the shipping industry's dependence on fossil fuels. fuel, as ships are responsible for about 1.5 billion tons of CO2 per year – about 3% of the world's total.

    New International Maritime Organization guidelines say emissions from shipping need to be reduced by at least 40% by 2030. if the Paris climate accords are reached.

    Mr Grotz said: “Shipping has always been extremely competitive and achieving these goals will not be easy.”

    “But we have to reduce CO2 emissions – and we decided we won't just sit back.” and wait for something magical to happen.”

    The company said the ship's sails would cut emissions by up to 850 tons per year, the equivalent of about 500 cars.

    Rigid aluminum sails feature a vent and port system to maximize airflow. Photo: NICK GAMMON/AFP

    Although Chemship is not the first modern vessel to be equipped with rigid sails, Chemship has said that its Chemical Challenger is the world's first chemical tanker with sails.

    Last year, British firm Cargill also built a wind-powered cargo ship. control system. at sea.

    Rigid aluminum sails, similar to an airplane wing, feature a system of vents and vents to maximize airflow in wind speeds up to 38 mph (33 knots).

    Rens Groot, sales manager at Econowind, said: “This system, called a 'ventilated sail', increases the wind force by five times – and gives the same force as an imaginary sail measuring approximately 30 by 30 meters.”

    < p>Sails on ships also rediscover long-forgotten routes that fell out of favor as steam and fuel replaced wind power.

    “Modern sailors will again have to look for wind, for example, along the Brouwer route,” Groot said, referring to the route around the Cape of Good Hope first established by Dutch explorer Hendrik Brouwer around 1611.

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