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.”