Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has reported that it intends to equip a second bulk carrier with the Wind Challenger hard sail system, which harnesses the power of wind to propel the vessel.
MOL Group company MOL Drybulk will operate the vessel, which will transport wood pellets for Enviva, a producer of sustainable wood bioenergy, and has signed a construction contract for the new ship with Oshima Shipbuilding of Nagasaki. The vessel, scheduledfor delivery in 2024, will be the second Wind Challenger-equipped vessel in the MOL Group fleet, following a bulk carrier scheduled to enter service in October 2022. Wind Challenger is a telescoping hard sail that converts wind energy to propulsive force. Installation of one Wind Challenger sail on merchant ships has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption, which in turn reduces GHG emissions by about 5-8%.
Additionally, MOL group is examining the feasibility of adopting UK company Anemoi’s Rotor Sails, which used in combination with the Wind Challenger sails, has potential to reduce GHG emissions by about 20% (see image).
Enviva and MOL have engaged in long-term discussions about improving the efficiency of marine transportation through a contract for the shipping of wood pellets in Atlantic waters. In recent years, there has been a need to reduce the environmental impact of the entire supply chain. The introduction of this energy-saving technology is a culmination of the joint studies so far.
MOL Group clearly states that the group will make a concerted effort to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050, and will further push forward adoption of energy-saving technologies using wind such as the Wind Challenger and Rotor Sails, to help reduce GHG emissions and realise a low-carbon society.