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Rolls-Royce Bets on Sailing Ships for Cargo

Rolls-Royce Bets on Sailing Ships for Cargo

Image source: www.b9energy.com

One of the more insidious and invisible aspects to our global economy is its reliance on dirty fuels, such as bunker fuel (fuel oil) and the resultant emissions in order to ship goods around the world. And not only is the fuel getting more expensive, there’s been a push to curb the emissions from these cargo ships by switching to cleaner fuels, so this next move by Rolls-Royce could be the dawn of a new age of shipping.

Rolls-Royce partner B9 Shipping Ltd is working to develop a coastal sailing vessel that is capable of carrying 3000 dwt (deadweight tonnage), and integrates not just a 180 ft. high soft sail propulsion system, but also an engine that burns bio-methane to provide 40% of the thrust.

“The state of the art sail propulsion system maximizes performance, dramatically improves reliability, has minimal impact on normal cargo operations and ensures optimum Health and Safety compliance. Unlike commercial sailing vessels of the past, B9 Ships are operated entirely from the bridge, thus allowing the number of crew members to remain the same as those aboard a conventionally powered ship.” – B9 Shipping

The proposed ship is said to have higher up-front costs, but would be able to deliver a payback (including reduced fuel expenses) within the first three to five of its estimated 30 year lifespan. B9 Shipping is seeking further funds to complete the project in the next couple of years.

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