MITSUI O.S.K. Line have announced their intention to install wind propulsion systems on seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels.

This will bring the total number of MOL Group vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11, including 9 with the Wind Challenger, a system developed mainly by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding which uses a telescoping hard sail that harnesses wind power to propel the vessel.

The decision comes after MOL measured the performance of the Wind Challenger on the coal carrier Shofu Maru during voyages, and discovered it reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

Shofu Maru completed a total of seven round-trip voyages to Japan, mainly from Australia, Indonesia, and North America as a dedicated coal transport vessel, during which the Wind Challenger’s performance was continuously measured.

The purposeful investment from MOL group into wind technology aboard their vessels aligns with the company’s proclaimed target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, and to contribute to the decarbonisation of society with an environmentally friendly fleet.

MOL plans to launch 25 Wind Challenger-equipped vessels by 2030, and 80 vessels by 2035.

In addition to the Wind Challenger, MOL group has employed the use of Ventfoil, a foldable unit that also uses wind propulsion, aboard their new multi-purpose vessel scheduled for delivery in 2025.

Manufactured by Dutch ship design and engineering company EconoWind B.V., Ventfoil is a system that uses the thrust generated by the wind to propel the vessel by means of sails in the shape of an airplane wing on the deck of the vessel.

Shofu Maru, delivered in 2022, became the first vessel in the world to be equipped with the Wind Challenger system.