Dieffenbacher is underlining its environmental commitment by shipping a turnkey OSB plant from Germany to Venezuela on board the world’s first modern freight vessel featuring wind-powered propulsion.

MS Beluga SkySails features the SkySails towing kite system, which harnesses the power of wind, described by SkySails as the most cost-effective offshore energy source, to pull the vessel along.

The use of wind power will help Bremen-based shipping company Beluga Shipping cut costs and emissions arising from the use of traditional fuel, said SkySails.

The Dieffenbacher OSB plant is to be transported from Bremen to Venezuela in eight deliveries, and is due to start producing construction panels for state-sponsored housng projects from 2009.

It is the first phase of an expansion of Dieffenbacher’s production in Venezuela and will have an initial annual production of 200,000m3.