Japanese shipping group Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has reached a coal transport deal with Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. and confirms it has placed an order with Japanese yard Oshima Shipbuilding for one bulk carrier of 99,000dwt with sail-assisted propulsion.
The vessel will be equipped with a hard sail wind power propulsion system, also known as the Wind Challenger, and is set to be delivered in 2022.
The introduction of the Wind Challenger is expected to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by about 5% on the Japan-Australia route or about 8% on the Japan-North America West Coast route in comparison with a conventional vessel of the same class. The Wind Challenger is a telescoping hard sail that converts wind energy to propulsive force.
This follows the "Wind Challenger Plan" started in 2009, an industry-academia joint research project led by the University of Tokyo. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding had taken charge of the plan and now play a central role in this project. In October 2019, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding had acquired Approval in Principle (AIP) for the design of a hard sail system.