MOL invests in Panamax bulker to transport woody biomass

Japanese shipping company MOL Co. revealed plans to buy a new Panamax type bulk carrier intended for transporting woody biomass as energy as its main cargo for domestic electric power companies.

The vessel will meet the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) Phase 3 that will enter into force from 2025.

The ship will have strengthened mooring equipment and improved cargo handling efficiency achieved through a wide hatch opening.

MOL said that the ship was scheduled to be completed in 2023 at compatriot shipyard Oshima Shipbuilding Co.

MOL Power Solution & Carbon Project Division will be in charge of the business operation for the newbuilding vessel, provision of transport plans, and ship operation.

The division was established in April 2021 to meet the diversified needs of customers especially when it comes to the need for decarbonization-related transport solutions in addition to transporting conventional fuels.

“The addition of the new vessel to the fleet will expand MOL Group’s capabilities to serve companies that need woody biomass for energy, and complement the 10,000 ~ 80,000 tons ocean-going and coastal dry bulk carriers operated by MOL Drybulk and MOL Coastal Shipping,” MOL said.

The move is being announced amid increased demand for woody biomass fuel among Japanese electric power companies, as they push toward the realization of carbon neutrality.

Woody biomass for energy is a plant-derived fuel, and regarded as one that can realize a “carbon neutral” state, based on the concept that burning these fuels does not increase the CO2 concentration because carbon previously absorbed by trees is returned to the air.

As part of its decarbonization efforts, MOL has been active on the diversification front having announced its return to the ammonia shipping business and transport of liquefied CO2.