MOL delivers second Wind Challenger-equipped bulk carrier

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has completed the installation of the Wind Challenger hard sail wind power propulsion system on the second bulk carrier at Oshima Shipbuilding.

Courtesy of MOL

The 63,896 dwt Ultramax bulk carrier Green Winds is the second of nine MOL Group vessels that have been or will be equipped with the Wind Challenger, a device developed by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding that converts wind energy to propulsive force using telescoping hard sails.

According to MOL, this is also the world’s first crane vessel equipped with the Wind Challenger. The ship will be operated by MOL Drybulk.

With the Wind Challenger, the vessel is expected to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 7%-16%, depending on the shipping route and other conditions.

Earlier this year, MOL confirmed that Shofu Maru, the world’s first coal carrier equipped with the Wind Challenger hard sail wind propulsion system, achieved daily fuel savings by up to 17% and by 5 to 8% per voyage on average.

Under its target of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050, the Japanese shipping major plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030 and 80 vessels by 2035.

To reach this goal, MOL and its group company MOL Drybulk recently 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.

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.

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In addition, MOL will 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.

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