“The ship’s unique hard sail will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 5% on its Japan-Australia voyage.”

Quarry Bluk, Shofu Maru.

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It is the first coal carrier to be powered by hard sail wind propulsion technology – this part has been named ‘Wind Challenger’.

The ship is considered the “first of its kind” and signals the return of wind power as a viable energy source, ushering in a new era in modern transportation.

The ship inspired the new “Wind Challenger”

At Oshima Shipbuilding, MOL intends to build a second bulk carrier using the “Wind Challenger” hard sail system.

Under the arrangement, MOL Drybulk will manage the 62,900 dwt vessel when it is delivered in 2024. Once completed, Enviva, a company specializing in creating sustainable bioenergy from wood, will use the vessel to transport wood pellets.

Deadweight tonnage (dwt) is a measure of how much weight a ship can carry. Essentially, the weight of passengers, crew, fresh water, ballast water, cargo, fuel and food are added together.

Rotor sails, an auxiliary wind propulsion device created by British company Anemoi Marine Technologies, is another option MOL is studying for the bulk carrier.

It is expected that the joint use of rotor sails and the Wind Challenger will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 20%.

Quarry Bluk, Shofu Maru.

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Shofu Maru offers hope

The Shofu Maru has a telescopic fiberglass sail that can stretch up to 55 meters high and carry 80,000 tonnes of coal.

According to preliminary tests, the company predicted that it would consume 5% less fuel between Australia and Japan.