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MOL readies for installation of its first hard sail

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has provided Splash readers with a glimpse of the enormous hard sail it is about to install on one of its bulk carriers under construction at Oshima Shipbuilding.

The huge sail, 52 m high, has been under development for the past 13 years and is known as the Wind Challenger project. The light weight FRP composite sail has a telescopic system to retract it to 23 m high when in port.

An 88,900 dwt bulk carrier due for delivery this autumn – and slated to go on long term charter hauling coal for Tohoku Electric Power Co – is now getting the hard sail installed on its prow. The additional propulsion power from wind can reduce a vessel’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 5% to 8%, MOL, Japan’s largest shipowner in dwt terms, stated today.

MOL is also considering the use of sails on other bulk carriers, tankers and LNG carriers.

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.


  1. The irony of installing this on a vessel chartered to carry coal…Top level trolling from MOL!

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