Cargill Ocean Transportation has signed on with an innovative new company to launch the world's largest ever kite-propelled vessel. (Scroll down for Video)
The Hamburg-based company SkySails claims its technology can generate enough propulsion to reduce fuel consumption by up to 35% in ideal sailing conditions.
SkySails' system uses a computer-controlled kite connected by rope, flying between 100m and 420m in a figure-of-eight. The auomated system steers and adjusts the kite to maximise the wind benefits and requires minimal action by crew.
At the end of this year Cargill plans to install a 320sqm kite on a chartered handysize ship with a view to full operation by early 2012.
The firm intends to partner on the project with "a shipowner supportive of ennironmental stewardship in the industry".