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MOL’s wind-assisted bulk carrier enters service

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)’s bulk carrier equipped with a hard sail wind power propulsion system has officially started operation following a handover ceremony at Oshima Shipbuilding.

The 100,400 dwt bulker, named Shofu Maru, is the first wind-assisted newbuild for the Japanese owner that sports a telescoping hard sail developed in-house in collaboration with compatriot shipbuilder Oshima under the Wind Challenger project.

The vessel will haul coal mainly from Australia, Indonesia, and North America as a dedicated vessel for Tohoku Electric Power Co.

The additional propulsion power from wind is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage and about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, compared to a conventional vessel of the same type, and contribute to curbing GHG emissions during fuel transportation, MOL said in a statement.

The shipowner has another wind-assisted bulker set to enter service in 2024 to transport wood pellets for Enviva. In addition to its hard sail system, MOL is looking into adopting Anemoi Marine Technologies’ rotor sails on the vessel, which combined could slash GHG emissions by an average of 20%.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.


  1. “The vessel will haul coal … as a dedicated vessel for Tohoku Electric Power Co.” The irony.

  2. Ironic indeed. Also , my guess is that this is a Flettner rotor , utilising the Magnus effect?

    1. No it’s is only a telescopic FRP “intelligent” sail , utilising Newton’s laws of motion and some sensors to optimize the effect thereof by changing the angle of attack as per the wind direction .

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