New projects are developing sail as a sustainable and economic cargo transport method, and has just delivered the world’s first carbon-neutral chocolate.
Fair Transport is based in Europe and has two cargo sail boats ferrying cargo around the North Atlantic. It is also developing the 130m Ecoliner (pictured), a type of cargo vessel propelled by a combination of high-tech sail and engine power. When it’s windy, the sails are out and the Ecoliner emits nothing.
This hybrid feature makes possible exactly the same service of speed, freight price and trustworthiness as expected from a traditional motor cargo vessel, without having to change logistic systems. It decreases the polluting emissions of ships by a minimum of 50%.
Fair Transport’s Jorne Langelaan says of the Ecoliner:
“The business plan is as good as done and we’re working very hard on the technical design. The next step is financing the project, but with the logic of this concept that cant be a problem.”
Mott Green, founder of the Grenada Chocolate Company, a Grenada-based tree-to-bar organic chocolate cooperative, used Fair Transport’s 32m brigantine Tres Hombres to become the first chocolate maker to ship a mass quantity of chocolate sustainably – five tons of award-winning organic dark chocolate from Grenada in the West Indies to New York, Portsmouth, UK and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
An insulated cool room was built on the ship, powered solely by wind and sun. The chocolate is very expensive — £60 for six bars — but, Chantal Coady of Rococo chocolate, who are selling it, told the Guardian:
People are not paying anywhere near the real environmental price for chocolate when they buy an ordinary bar. This is chocolate without an impact. Plus, for every bar we make, we are returning 60-70% of the retail price cost to the growers, compared to next to nothing with conventional chocolate. All the value added with this cocoa is in Grenada.
Another organization called Greenheart is trying to find such a solution, aiming first at the developing world. They want to build a small ship: one that combines reliable, universal sails with a simple and proven solar panel/storage battery/DC electric drive.
At the beginning of May, the possibilities of solar-powered vessels was further demonstrated with the first round-the-world voyage entirely powered by solar.
MS Tūranor PlanetSolar, a 115ft catamaran, traveled 32,401 nm.
The leader of the PlanetSolar expedition, Raphaėl Domjan said:
We have shown that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to become sustainable and safeguard our blue planet.
Watch Fair Transport’s Jorne Langelaan talk about the project:
Photo credit: Fair Transport