The towing kite propulsion system has successfully completed its premiere in commercial operation on the high seas. The MV “Beluga SkySails“, a new carrier equipped with towing kite technology that supports the main engine, sailed on its maiden voyage from Bremen to Guanta (Venezuela), Davant (USA), Mo-I-Rana and Holla (Norway) in January/February 2008.

Thanks to the 160-square-metre towing kite, which sails high in the wind and transmits the propulsion forces to the vessel, shipping is becoming “greener”. In April Beluga won the Seatrade Award 2008 for this outstanding “Innovation in Ship Operations”. Initially the 10,000 ton multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier will operate primarily on routes between North America and Europe, but in the long term also across the Pacific.

“The MV ‘Beluga SkySails’ not only means lower voyage costs, but also a reduction in emissions harmful to the climate,” says Niels Stolberg, CEO of Beluga Shipping GmbH, the first shipping company in the world to operate such a newbuilding under its flag. The Bremen project and heavy-lift cargo shipping company is following up the pioneer, the MV “Beluga SkySails“, with two 20,000 ton carriers that are currently under construction – but then with a 600-square-metre towing kite in each case and possible bunker savings of ten tons per day of operation. At Beluga, however, it is not only a revolutionary sail system that points the way into the future, but above all the corporate philosophy of taking the lead and discovering new paths. The F.A.Z. Institute therefore recently issued a certificate designating the shipping company as “Innovation driver in Germany”.

Applicant/Project Coordinator:
Beluga Fleet Management GmbH & Co. KG
Project partners: SkySaily GmbH & Co. KG,
OceanWaveS GmbH,
ALDEBARAN Marine Research & Broadcast
Support: European Union
Project period: 01.01.2006 – 30.06.2009

Beluga Shipping GmbH
Research & Innovation
Dr. Brigitte Behrends
Teerhof 59, 28199 Bremen, Germany 



+49 (0) 421 - 333 22 0



+49 (0) 421 - 333 22 700



Please note as well Beluga’s great commitment to the

Opens external link in new windowMaritime Campus Elsfleth and the

Opens external link in new windowMaritime Research Centre in Elsfleth



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