Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Oshima Shipbuilding announced the introduction plan of large-scale dry bulk vessel with a hard sail system was certified as “Introduction plan of vessel with excellent environmental performance (Specific Vessel)”under the “Wind Challenger” project (Note 1) at the Oshima shipyard in the certification system for Introduction plan of Specific Vessel that Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) established based on Strengthening Maritime Industry law (Note 2).
MOL have been promoting the Wind Challenger Project to harness the wind as a propulsive force for merchant ships. The additional propulsion power from the wind can reduce vessel’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 5% to 8% compared to conventional ships of the same class (Note 3).
The hard sail will be installed on a large bulk carrier currently under construction at Oshima Shipbuilding after shoreside tests. The vessel is slated for delivery in October 2022 after sea trials.
MOL set out its plan to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 through concerted group-wide efforts in “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1” (Note 4). The company will contribute to reduce GHG emissions from society at large, and realize a low-carbon and decarbonized society by proactively participating not only in this project, but also by establishing clean energy supply chains. It will also move assertively to promote wind-related business including the Wind Challenger-developed hard sail.
The Wind Challenger Project started in 2009 with the “Wind Challenger Plan,” an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and since 2013, the team has been chosen to receive a subsidy on next-generation marine environment-related technology research from MLIT. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding took charge of the plan and now play a central role in this project.
Shipping companies and shipbuilders certified for strengthening business foundation plans are jointly able to formulate plans for introduction of Specific Vessels (introduction plan of Specific Vessel) and submit to Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who is supposed to certify the introduction plan in case the plan is certified to meet prescribed certification requirements based on Strengthening Maritime Industry law.
Reduced GHG emissions by about 5% assuming a Japan-Australia voyage, and by about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage.