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MOL unveils its ‘Wind Challenger Project’ to assist vessel propulsion with hard sails

30 Jun 2020

Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) on Monday (29 June) introduced its Wind Challenger Project that aims to use wind energy for assisting vessel propulsion using sails enhanced by cutting-edge technologies and materials.

MOL said it started examining the basic technologies in a joint industry-academia research project led by Tokyo University in 2009, and is now in the implementation phase in cooperation with Oshima Shipbuilding Co. 

As part of this phase, the company plans to install one sail on a 100,000 dwt bulk carrier which has already obtained an Approval In Principle (AIP) from Nippon Kaiji Kyokai for its design of the hard sail system. 

MOL added it will continue to move toward a more detailed design, aiming to launch a new-building vessel equipped with a hard sail in 2022. 

The sail would reduce the vessel’s GHG emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage, and about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, noted the company.

The long-term goal is to develop a widely accepted solution to achieve the IMO target in combination with other measures to reduce GHGs by equipping vessels with multiple sails, it said. 

Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
Published: 30 June, 2020

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