Kite-driven Beluga Skysail successfully completes 12,000 mile journey

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Washington, Mar 18 : By completing a journey of 12,000 miles, kite-driven MV Beluga Skysails has opened a new chapter of sorts in the history of commercial shipping.

Through the journey, the ship touched the ports from Germany to Venezuela, the United States, and then to Norway, and arrived on March 13.

The moment came after the crew and vessel spent nearly two months at the sea, giving the "skysail" concept ample opportunity for testing and tweaking.

The cargo ship's captain Lutz Heldt was excited with the vessel's accomplishment.

"We can once again actually sail' with cargo ships thus opening a new chapter in the history of commercial shipping," Environmental News Network quoted him, as saying.

The crew has been keeping an eye on the ship's progress at Triple Pundit, from initial concept, sea trials, and now the round-trip completion of her first commercial voyage using the hybrid auxiliary power kite system installed on the Beluga Skysails.

The ship used the 160-square-meter towing kite, which compensates up to 20pct of the engine's power (and carbon emissions), and saves an initial 1000 dollars per day in fuel costs.

It is expected that the future testing and plans for the system will focus on extending flight times and performance of the sail, as well as implementing a sail twice the size of the current one deployed on the Skysails.

Savings of up to 2000 dollars per day is possible with the deployment of the larger sail and it may further reduce in carbon emissions.

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