MOL: World’s first Wind Challenger-equipped coal carrier achieves fuel savings of 17%

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, Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), the owner of the vessel, confirmed.

Courtesy of MOL

The bulk carrier has completed a total of seven round-trip voyages to Japan, mainly from Australia, Indonesia, North America, as a dedicated coal transport vessel for Tohoku Electric Power.

Over the course of about eighteen months since the Shofu Maru’s delivery in October 2022, MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger continuously on actual voyages and confirmed the abovementioned reduction in fuel consumption.

Related Article

MOL has set the target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 in the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2.” Among the main actions to achieve this target is the introduction of further energy-saving technologies. The group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030, increasing to 80 by 2035.

The group said it has accumulated extensive operational technologies through the safe management and efficient operation of an environmentally friendly fleet that combines wind propulsion technology, such as the Wind Challenger.

This year, the company plans to launch the construction of Wind Hunter, a hydrogen-producing vessel outfitted with multiple rigid sails.

The construction forms part of the company’s Wind Hunter project, which seeks new applications for hydrogen fuel and wind power.