A small shipping company on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is building what will be the world’s largest ocean going clean green cargo ship. Ceiba, built by Sailcargo a company trying to prove that green shipping with zero carbon footprints is possible and also viable in the mainstream.
Ceiba combines both really old and new technology, what with sailing masts and solar panels, a uniquely designed electric engine and batteries, it’s a one-of-a-kind cargo ship.
Though right now Ceiba is just a hollow structure and despite the hold-up due to the world-wide pandemic the Sailcargo team hopes to set her sail by the end of 2021 and operating by early 2022 by transporting cargo between Costa Rica and Canada. The ship’s main attraction is that it provides the break of clean green energy in the shipping sector. In 2018, the global shipping sector emitted over a billion tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to 3% of entire global emission. A major study on shipping emissions found that it rose by 10% between 2012-2018, and is expected to further rise to 50% by 2050.
How can Zero carbon cargo shipping benefit the environment?
Lucy Gilliam, shipping campaigner at non-profit Transport and Environment says that, “It’s not that we don’t have great ideas. The problem that we have is that fossil fuels are still too damn cheap. And we don’t have the rules to force people to take up the new technology. We need caps on emissions and polluter pays schemes so that the clean technologies can outcompete fossil fuels.”
Danielle Doggett agrees that a lot more government actions and policies are required to get shipping emissions under control. The private sector also plays a major role and should come forward towards the green effort. In a statement to BBC Doggett said that, “the thing that sets Ceiba apart is the fact that she’ll have one of the largest marine electric engines of her kind in the world, the only restrictions on how long she can stay at sea is water and food on board for the crew.” She also said that “the Ceiba isn’t trying to compete with mainstream but is providing a healthier alternative. We’re trying to prove the value of what we’re doing, so that we can inspire those other large for-profit companies to pick up their game.”