Jan 23, 2008

World's first Sail powered merchant ship

Take a look at the image! This is World's first merchant ship powered by a giant kite! It speeds across the seas with the help of a breeze, just like the 19th century ships. The MS Beluga SkySails, which set off on its maiden voyage from Bremen to Venezuela on Tuesday, is fitted with a giant computerised kite which soars far above the decks of the 10,000-ton ship.

On a favourable day the giant kite can provide up to 35 per cent of the vessel's power, according to its creators. If the £400,000 kite or sail lives up to its billing, it will save the Beluga's operators 900lb of fuel a day, and take a slice out of the 800million tons of greenhouse gases the world's merchant fleet belches into the sky each year.

Niels Stolberg, chief executive of German based Beluga Shipping which helped create the technology, said: "It's important to look at the commercial side of this, the saving fuel costs, but also the CO2 aspect. In a few years, shipping companies will have to cut emissions or pay a price."

Stolberg plans to install the system on two more vessels twice as large as the Beluga SkySails by 2009. Link


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