Giant kites to drag cargo ships across oceans in bid to cut down carbon use

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The 500m2 kite will aid a cargo vessel on its transatlantic journey during trials.  (AirSeas)
The 500m2 kite will aid a cargo vessel on its transatlantic journey during trials. (AirSeas)

Giant kites that drag cargo ships across the sea will be trialled to help reduce carbon emissions.

In January, the first of the 500 square meter kites will aid a ship – the 154-metre-long Ville de Bordeaux – on its trade journey across the Atlantic Ocean for six months of trials before full roll-out.

The kites, titled ‘SeaWing’, were developed by French tech company, Airseas, in hopes to reduce fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent.

The SeaWing is an automatic kite based on parafoil technology and will be used to tow commercial ships across sea journeys.

At full-size, the 1,000 square metre kite will fly at an altitude of 300 metres and aims to reduce the company’s environmental footprint by 8,000 tons of CO2 per year.

During the trial, the 500 square metre kite will be flown from the Ville de Bordeaux as the vessel transports aircraft components between France and the US every month.

Vincent Bernatets, CEO and Co-Founder of Airseas, said to ShipInsight: “A decade ago, we embarked on the ambitious project of channelling our unique aviation expertise towards creating a cleaner and more sustainable shipping industry.

“Today, I am beyond proud to see that vision becoming reality, with our first Seawing ready to make a tangible difference for our planet.

“This first installation marks a significant milestone not only for Airseas but also for wind and other renewable propulsion technologies in general,” he added.

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, the world needs to see a drastic reduction in carbon emissions now.”

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