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COSCO in talks to add solar panels to its tankers

COSCO in talks to add solar panels to its tankers

Hong Kong: The head of the Australian firm Solar Sailor, pioneers of wings covered in solar panels for installation on ships, revealed in an interview with CNN that the world's largest shipping conglomerate, COSCO is in discussions to add solar wings to many of its tankers.  
Solar Sailor has created a new type of sail -- rigid wings covered in solar panels that can bend and fold depending on the direction of the sun and wind. Four of these solar ferries will be roaming the waters of Hong Kong in January and Solar Sailor is in talks to introduce them in Shanghai and San Francisco.
"When we started in 1999, oil was at $10 a barrel, no one had heard of a hybrid car and people weren't educated about global warming," Solar Sailor ceo Robert Dane told CNN. With oil now around $73 a barrel, Dane says green technologies make more financial sense than ever.
CNN reported that COSCO "is in advanced talks with Solar Sailor for the fitting of solar wings on some of its large tankers". Another shipping company, NYK Line, launched Auriga Leader in December 2008, the world's first solar-assisted car carrier.
As a member of the UN Global Compact COSCO is keen to advance its green credentials and has looked at many options, including nuclear propulsion, something the company's ceo and president Capt Wei Jiafu expanded upon two weeks ago at Marintec China. "As they are already onboard submarines, why not cargo ships?" he mused. Later he spoke to Seatrade Asia Online and revealed COSCO is in talks with the national nuclear authorities to develop nuclear powered ships. [14/12/09]


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