BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies have agreed to design and implement wind-assisted propulsion for the shipping industry.

WindWings are 45-metres-tall solid wing sails fitted to the deck of ships to harness the power of the wind.

The companies plan to carry out the first commercial retrofit to a Cargill vessel, ready for delivery next year.

The advantage to WindWings is an up to 30% reduction in fuel consumption for bulk carriers, tankers and other large vessels, according to the partners. This, they say, can be carried out with a combination of wind propulsion and rout optimisation.

Yara Marine is to offer the technology to ship owners around the world. It will also manage the procurement, construction, installation, service and training for the WindWings.

Under the terms of the agreement, Yara and BAR Tech will sell WindWings to the wider shipping industry, with BARTech retaining the obligation to continue to innovate and establish additional WindWings offerings.

In order to ensure a smooth pathway to bring the technology onto the global stage, BARTech, Cargill and other WindWings project partners are in regular dialogue with class society DNV. They say they have already been through the rigours of hazard workshops in order to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of the product, ensuring significant progress towards Approval In Principle.

BARTech chief executive officer John Cooper said working with Yara to deliver the first installation of WindWings sets the benchmark as a true industry first.

“Moving forward, the time is right for WindWings to be offered across the global industry, by benefitting from Yara Marine’s extensive network and experience,” he said.

Yara chief executive officer Thomas Koniordos said most of the value chain is already set up, and the company is getting ready to sell and deploy the product.

“Since we first began discussions with BARTech, we’ve been increasingly impressed with the scope of the technology, and the firm’s commitment to continue to refine and develop the offering. We’re very much looking forward to beginning work on behalf of Cargill for the first vessel installations,” Mr Koniordos said.

Cargill president, ocean transport Jan Dieleman said wind propulsion is increasingly important due to its high energy-saving potential, and because it works well with other devices and fuels.

“WindWings is a novel solution which is a great addition to our toolkit and through our partnership we will bring bespoke wind solutions to customers who are actively seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from their supply chain,” Mr Dieleman said.