Japan’s MLIT certifies Wind Challenger vessel introduction plan

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot shipbuilder Oshima Shipbuilding said that the introduction plan of a large-scale dry bulk vessel with a hard sail system was certified by the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

As informed, it was certified as an “Introduction plan of a vessel with excellent environmental performance” under the Wind Challenger project.

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MOL has been promoting the Wind Challenger project to harness wind as a propulsive force for merchant ships.

The additional propulsion power from the wind can reduce the vessel’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 5% to 8% compared to conventional ships of the same class.

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.

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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.

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