Mv Shofu Maru

The Japanese shipping conglomerate Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its group company MOL Drybulk announced their intent to install wind propulsion systems including Wind Challenger on a total of seven newbuilding bulk carriers and multi-purpose vessels, which will be operated by MOL Drybulk.

MOL has measured the performance of the telescoping hard sails Wind Challenger, a device developed by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding, on the vessel “Shofu Maru” continuously on actual voyages and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%.

MOL Group will have a total of 9 Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11, with the “Shofu Maru” being the first vessel equipped with the hard sail system Wind Challenger delivered in October 2022.

Among the 7 vessels to be equipped with wind propulsion systems, 6 new bulk carriers will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger and construction contracts have already been signed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for 3 of the 6 vessels, and preparations are under way for construction contracts for the remaining three vessels.

Additionally, MOL Drybulk has decided to install two Ventfoils, a foldable and autonomous unit for wind-assisted ship propulsion, manufactured by Dutch based EconoWind B.V. on one of its new multipurpose vessels slated for delivery 2025 and operation under a time charter.