The world’s first wind-powered, cargo-carrying ship has begun its maiden voyage from Norway to Brazil.
The 339-ton ship, called the E-Ship 1, is powered by two enormous sails that are rigged to poles rising 78 feet high. The sails, also known as rotorsails, help propel the ship forward in what its owners say is a more environmentally friendly way. The sails are computer-controlled and are much more efficient than older sailboat technology, allowing the vessel to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by as much as 20-30 percent.
The E-Ship 1 is owned by the Norway-based shipping company Wilhelmsen, which was founded in 1861 and has become one of the leading maritime service providers in the world. The company says it hopes to prove that the use of clever sail technology can make shipping greener and more efficient. The voyage is expected to take between 35 and 40 days.
The E-Ship 1 is just the first of many vessels Wilhelmsen plans to roll out in the near future using the innovative sail technology. The company says the shift towards more green-friendly shipping will help reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.