The Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has installed a rigid sail system on board a bulk carrier developed as part of the Wind Challenger project at his compatriot Oshima Shipbuilding.

The project, which aims to harness the wind as a propulsion force for merchant ships, is now ready to proceed to the commissioning stage and sea trials, according to MOL’s social media update.

The rigid sail-equipped vessel is expected to be delivered in October this year when it will begin transporting cargo for Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.

The milestone was reached 13 years after the start of the Wind Challenger plan, a joint industry-university research project led by the University of Tokyo, which was taken over by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding in January 2018.

The introduction plan of a large dry bulk carrier with a hard sail system has recently been certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Specifically, it has been certified as an “Introduction Plan for a Ship with Excellent Environmental Performance” under the Wind Challenger project.

In addition, MOL’s Wind Challenger technology, combined with rotor sail technology developed by Anemoi Marine Technologies, will be used on board a 62,900 dwt green bulk carrier to be built by Oshima Shipbuilding.

The vessel is part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MOL subsidiary MOL Drybulk and sustainable wood bioenergy producer Enviva which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the supply chain. supply of woody biomass.

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