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Rigid Wing Sails

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A return to emission-free wind power for shipping

Bege Bulk unveils the world’s most powerful sailing cargo ship.

Rigid wing sails are a game-changing new technology. These lightweight structures, which have great durability, are made using new composite materials. Their rigidity, and ability to stay in shape at high speeds, are the main factors contributing to truly efficient fuel savings.

WindWings operate based on Bernouli’s principle — the same effect that allows commercial aircraft to fly. As wind blows across the deck, the wings will automatically position themselves to generate lift in the direction of the vessels’ movement. The result is a reduction in mechanical power demand on the main engine, and a corresponding reduction in main engine fuel consumption.

Our WindWings are built by BAR Technologies, who also designed the ultra-high-performance sail systems used by TeamUK in America’s Cup championship yacht racing.

Pioneering Decarbonisation

After extensive commercial and technical evaluation, Berge Bulk launched our first pilot in October of 2023. This pilot featured the installation of four wing sets onboard our 210,000 DTW Newcastlemax vessel, Berge Olympus. Together with our partners from BAR Technologies, Yara Marine Technologies, DNV, and the Isle of Man Flag Registry, we will evaluate fuel savings, ease of handling, port obstruction, and durability during the pilot. This project has also been supported by our customer Vale, who has chartered the vessel to sail between Brazil and China — a trade route known for having favourable wind conditions. If the pilot is a success, we will consider installation on other vessel types.

Wind has been the most evident ship propulsion for centuries. The WindWings on Berge Olympus are 37.5m tall and 20m wide, with a total surface area of 3,000m2 — more than three times the surface area of the wings of an A380 airplane (843m2). Through a combination of wind propulsion and route optimisation, the WindWings can save up to 20% fuel — reducing CO2 emissions by 19.5 tonnes per day on an average worldwide route.

“At Berge Bulk, we are constantly striving to enhance our efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of our existing fleet. Since 2008 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. There’s still so much to do as we accelerate the transition to new fuel in the zero-carbon future, and we’re proud to partner with BAR Technologies and Yara Marine Technologies to pioneer this WindWings system. The Berge Olympus is a testament to innovation and sustainability.”

James Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Berge Bulk

Immediate Impact

By retrofitting WindWings technology on to existing vessels, we can begin to make an immediate impact on decarbonising our fleet, whilst seeing significant efficiencies in our current fuel use.

Our 4 Pillar Approach

how we’re tackling emissions

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Pillar 1


Maintain a relentless focus on improving our efficiency

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Pillar 2


Use new technology to further efficiency

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Pillar 3

New Fuels

Convert to new fuels

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Pillar 4

Carbon Capture

Invest in solutions to capture carbon through technology and nature