Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is looking at every line and curve of its ships to make energy savings wherever is possible, even down to the cargo handling cranes on deck.
Japan’s largest shipowner is teaming with compatriots Oshima Shipbuilding and Iknow Machinery to research and develop mounting sails on ships’ cargo handling cranes and similar equipment to boost propulsion force.
The joint R&D project aims at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from vessels while underway, by unfurling the sail placed on ship such as triangular parts of existing cargo handling cranes to use offshore winds to provide additional propulsion force.
If successful, the sail concept could be deployed on many of MOL’s bulkers, wood chip carriers, and multipurpose vessels.
MOL also worked with Oshima in developing its hard sail project. The first so-called Wind Challenger (pictured below) is scheduled to be released in 2022. The system converts wind energy to propulsive force with a telescopic hard sail.