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MOL scales up wind ambitions

Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan’s largest shipowner, has upped its wind power ambitions, joining the International Windship Association (IWSA), and pushing ahead with the installation of a hard sail system on a coal carrier, as part of an ongoing project called Wind Challenger with local utility Tohoku Electric Power.

Wind Challenger is a telescoping hard sail, in which MOL is a lead developer.

MOL stated today the aim now is toward launching the world’s first vessel equipped with a Wind Challenger in three years time.

Other partners in the class-approved project include the University of Tokyo and Oshima Shipbuilding

“The use of a hard sail can reduce a vessel’s GHG emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage, and by about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, in comparison with same type of vessel without a sail,” MOL stated in a release.
Gavin Allwright, secretary general of IWSA commented; “Having Mitsui OSK Lines step up and take on the delivery of the Wind Challenger project is a significant step forward for both the project and wind propulsion in the industry in general. MOL is a key player in the industry and we are delighted to welcome them on board at a critical juncture in the decarbonisation transition in shipping.”

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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