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Mitsui O.S.K.Lines: MOL Signs Deal to Build 2nd Bulk Carrier Equipped with ‘Wind Challenger’ Hard Sail System

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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) today announced its intent to equip a second bulk carrier with the “Wind Challenger” hard sail system, which harnesses the power of wind to propel the vessel. MOL Group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. (President: Kazuhiko Kikuchi; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) will operate the vessel, which will transport wood pellets for Enviva Inc. (Enviva), the world’s leading producer of sustainable wood bioenergy, and has signed a construction contract for the new ship with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (President: Eiichi Hiraga; Headquarters: Saikai-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture). The vessel, slated for delivery in 2024, will be the second Wind Challenger-equipped vessel in the MOL Group fleet, following one scheduled to enter services in October of this year.

MOL group is also examining the feasibility of adopting “Rotor Sails,” an auxiliary wind propulsion system developed by Anemoi Marine Technologies Ltd, of the U.K. Combined use of both the Wind Challenger and Rotor Sails is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 20%.

For years, Enviva and MOL have engaged in discussions to improve the efficiency of marine transportation through a contract for the shipping of wood pellets in Atlantic waters. In recent years, there has been a need to reduce the environmental impact of the entire supply chain. As we entered into a partnership in March 2021 with the aim of realizing an environmentally friendly bulk carrier, we have been considering the introduction of energy-saving technology and this is a culmination of our studies so far.

MOL Group clearly states that the group will make a concerted effort to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050, under “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1.” It will further push forward adoption of energy-saving technologies using wind such as the Wind Challenger and Rotor Sails, to help reduce GHG emissions and realize a low- and de-carbonized society.

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