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Tuesday, October 15, 2019 

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Tohoku Electric Power have announced the intention to move ahead with a joint study related to installation of the Wind Challenger sail system on a coal carrier.

Wind Challenger is a telescoping hard sail which converts wind energy to propulsive force. MOL took part as a leading member of the Wind Challenger Project study, and now intends to apply the system to a full-scale ship. MOL says that installation of the system on merchant ships has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption, which in turn reduces the environmental impact of vessel operation while improving economic efficiency.

MOL and Tohoku Electric jointly considered installation of the Wind Challenger on the coal carriers that transport coal to Tohoku Electric's thermal power plants. It has now been confirmed that the Wind Challenger system would be a feasible option in port facilities of the thermal power plants owned by Tohoku Electric, so the companies decided to move ahead with a full-scale joint study.

Both companies plan to verify the system's impact on discharging operation and calling in/out at coal unloading port facilities, its effect on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while the vessel is underway, and other factors, with an eye toward commercial launch of the Wind Challenger post-2022.

Since January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding have taken charge of the Wind Challenger project. Earlier this year, Approval in Principle (AiP) was given for the design of the hard sail system. The system is expected to reduce a vessel's GHG emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage, and by about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, in comparison with same type of vessel without a sail.

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