Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot shipbuilder Oshima Shipbuilding have completed the hard sail system jointly developed under the Wind Challenger project at the Oshima shipyard.

MOL has been promoting the Wind Challenger Project to harness wind as a propulsive force for merchant ships.

The additional propulsion power from wind can reduce a vessel’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an estimated 5% to 8% compared to conventional ships of the same class.

As informed, the hard sail will be installed on a bulk carrier currently under construction at Oshima Shipbuilding after shoreside tests. The vessel is slated for delivery this fall after sea trials. It will be transporting cargoes for Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc.

The project started in 2009 with the Wind Challenger Plan, an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and since 2013, the team has been chosen to receive a subsidy on next-generation marine environment-related technology research from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding took charge of the plan and now play a central role in this project.

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