The impact of shipping on the climate is great and continues to grow, but a team in Costa Rica is giving way to a clean maritime revolution by creating a cargo ship out of wood. On the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, the small team is building the world’s largest environmental cargo ship.
Ceiba is the first vessel built by Sail Cargo, which is trying to prove that zero-carbon shipping is possible and commercially viable.Made mainly of wood, the Ceiba ship combines both very old and the latest technologies: the sail masts stand next to solar panels and a uniquely designed electric motor.
The ship will be able to cross the oceans without using fossil fuels.
Ceiba also has facilities for capturing the energy of underwater propellers, as well as solar power, so electricity will be sufficient for the engine. In fact, the only problem is water and food for a crew on Board.
Construction has been going on for almost two years.Despite some delays due to the pandemic, the team hopes to put the ship on the water by the end of 2021 and begin operations by 2022, when it will begin carrying cargo between Costa Rica and Canada.
Ceiba is small for a cargo ship even tiny.It will carry about nine standard shipping containers.Today, the largest traditional container ships carry more than 20,000 containers.
But the ship’s creators don’t try to compete with the main container ships.They want to prove the value of what they do to inspire other large commercial companies.
However, the Ceiba schedule is already being rapidly updated.There are already passage orders from companies willing to pay a premium for the harmless transportation of products such as green coffee, cocoa, organic cotton and turmeric oil.
Bio-packaging, electric bikes, and premium hops for Costa Rica’s growing craft beer market are still part of the orders for the return trip.
There are other unusual features of this shipyard. There is also a program for planting trees, and a vegetable garden. Currently, the garden, based on organic principles, provides workers with food. The team wants to create an agro-ecological school to collect and disseminate knowledge among the local population.
Currently, 4,000 trees have been planted on private land in the Monteverde area of Costa Rica, and tree planting is associated with shipbuilding. They cut down trees and use them to build the ship that is designed to protect an environment, and plant trees again.
Sail Cargo, focused on a holistic, truly closed-loop shipbuilding system, may be laudable, but at the moment it’s just a drop in the ocean.Researchers found that emissions from navigation increased by 10% during 2012-2018 period, and predict that they could grow by another 50% by 2050 as more and more goods are shipped around the world by sea.