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Enviva and MOL explore hard sail possibilities

Enviva, an energy company specialising in sustainable wood bioenergy, and Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have signed a memorandum of understanding agreement to develop and deploy a bulk carrier featuring a rigid sail. MOL will likely ship wood pellets in a ship featuring a Wind Challenger, a hard sail at the ship’s bow, following research with Enviva.

Thomas Meth, executive vice president at Enviva, commented: “In our recently announced goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, we committed to proactively engage with our partners and other key stakeholders to adopt clean energy solutions in our supply chain and this is one of the first opportunities for us to explore carbon reductions in our Scope 3 emissions.”

Plans to develop the Wind Challenger started in 2009 as an industry-academia joint research project led by the University of Tokyo. MOL took charge of the plan in 2018 and has been working on the technology since. The first Wind Challenger is scheduled to be released in 2022. The system converts wind energy to propulsive force with a telescopic hard sail.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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