World’s 1st cargo ship equipped with ‘Wind Challenger’ delivered

The world’s first coal carrier equipped with Wind Challenger — a hard sail wind power propulsion system — was delivered and started operation on 7 October 2022, Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot electric services company Tohoku Electric Power said.

The naming and handover ceremony was held at Oshima Shipbuilding and the 100,422 dwt vessel was named Shofu Maru.

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The 235-metre-long Shofu Maru will transport coal mainly from Australia, Indonesia, and North America as a dedicated vessel for Tohoku Electric Power.

The introduction of the Wind Challenger is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage and by 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, compared to a conventional vessel of the same type, and contribute to curbing GHG emissions during fuel transportation.

The Wind Challenger is a system, developed mainly by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding, which uses a telescoping hard sail that harnesses wind power to propel the vessel. By installing the system, it is possible to reduce the amount of fuel used for operation, which is expected to reduce environmental impact and improve economic efficiency.

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In addition to Shofu Maru, MOL Group already decided to construct a second bulk carrier equipped with the Wind Challenger.

MOL secures green loan for Shofu Maru

Separately, MOL informed that it signed a deal financing, through a transition linked loan, relying on a transition finance framework and the sustainability-linked loan principles, from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation to fund the construction of the Shofu Maru.

The loan is a financial methodology designed to support companies that are considering measures to address climate change and taking initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with a long-term strategy to achieve a decarbonised society.

This is the second transition loan financing for MOL, following the one that funded the construction of the LNG bunkering vessel Gas Vitality.

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