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Wind-powered Dutch ship sets sail for greener future

February 20, 2024

The world’s first chemical tanker ship fitted with massive rigid aluminum “sails” has left Rotterdam, its owner hoping to plot a route to bringing down the shipping industry’s huge carbon footprint.

The MT Chemical Challenger, a 16,000-tonne chemicals transporter set sail from Antwerp for Istanbul on Friday, and will undergo sea trials along the way.

Built in Japan and kitted out with four giant 16-metre-high (52 foot, 6 inch) sails similar to aircraft wings, the tanker’s owners hope to cut fuel consumption by 10 to 20 percent as the sails will allow the ship’s captain to throttle back on the engine.

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