MOL’s Container Vessel Sails Get Green Light

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Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) has announced that its designs for a system that converts wind energy into propulsive force with a telescopic hard sail have been approved.

The carrier, one-third of major Japanese shipping alliance Ocean Network Express (ONE), said in a statement that approval was given by the Nippon Kaji Kyoki, the ship classification society.

The designs, part of the Wind Challenger Project, aims to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions through wind energy. Obtaining approval marks the completion of the initial design related to the sail structure and controls.

MOL and its partner Oshima Shipbuilding have said they will now continue to move toward a detailed design and implementation for the Wind Challenger Project.

The parties’ aim is to launch a new build vessel equipped with a hard sail. Estimates suggest greenhouse gas emissions on a Japan-Australia voyage could be cut by as much as 5% and approximately 8% when traveling to North America.

The long term goal is to develop a widely accepted solution to achieve the targets set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), including reducing sulfur emissions by 0.5%, which will come into force on January 1, 2020.

The Wind Challenger Project

Started in 2009, the Wind Challenger Project is an industry-academia joint research led by the University of Tokyo and looks to explore next-generation eco-friendly technology for the maritime industry.

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