MOL: 7 new ships to get wind propulsion systems

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk have decided to install wind propulsion systems on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk.

Courtesy of MOL

MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on the vessel Shofu Maru continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

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As explained, the fuel saving and GHG reduction effect of the Wind Challenger depends on various conditions such as the type of vessel and the shipping route.

MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to eleven.

Among the seven vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, six new bulkers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger. Construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding for three of the six vessels, and preparations are underway for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

In addition, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two VentoFoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch company EconoWind, on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery in 2025.

In its MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2, the Japanese shipping group has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. One of the key strategies to achieve this target includes the “introduction of clean energy, further energy-saving technologies,” and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

Last week, MOL revealed it would install the Wind Challenger hard sail wind propulsion system on coal carrier Kurotakisan Maru III. According to MOL, this is the first time in the world that the Wind Challenger will be installed on an in-service vessel. The company signed an agreement with compatriot Electric Power Development, operating under the name J-Power, to install the wind propulsion system on a ship that transports steaming coal to J-Power’s power stations.