NYK Line’s bulk shipping business NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) is to install a wind-assisted propulsion unit on a bulk carrier. The installation would be a first for the NYK group.

The bulk carrier is engaged in a long-term charter contract with Cargill International.

NBAtlantic is to equip the vessel with a wind-assisted propulsion unit called VentoFoil, from Dutch wind-sail producer Econowind.

“This unit is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions during vessel navigation,” NYK said.

“NBAtlantic will collect data on the propulsion generated by this equipment, in addition to meteorological and ocean conditions during navigation, and measure the unit’s effectiveness in collaboration with Cargill International.”

NYK said the VentoFoil unit sits on a six-metre flat rack container and has a 16-metre vertical wing that acts as a sail.

“Like an airplane wing, VentoFoil creates propulsion with the pressure difference on both sides of the wing,” NYK said.

“The unit takes in wind through its suction port and obtains greater propulsion by amplifying the pressure difference.”

NYK noted the size of the VentoFoil unit would keep it out of the way of cargo handling and would make it easy to install and relocate.

The group plans to use the knowledge gained from the unit installation to promote initiatives around energy-saving technologies, including the use of wind power.