Shofu Maru, World's 1st Wind Challenger-equipped Coal Carrier, Achieves Fuel Savings of 17%

Achieved 17% fuel savings per day
Average fuel savings of 5% to 8% per voyage

Tokyo - May 15, 2024

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) today announced that its owned and operated Shofu Maru (Note 1), the world's first coal carrier equipped with the Wind Challenger hard sail wind propulsion system, has completed a total of seven round-trip voyages to Japan, mainly from Australia, Indonesia, North America, as a dedicated coal transport vessel for Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (President: Kojiro Higuchi; Headquarters: Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture) Over the course of about 18 months since the Shofu Maru's delivery in October 2022, MOL has measured the performance of the Wind Challenger continuously on actual voyages, and confirmed that the Wind Challenger sail (Note 2) reduced daily fuel consumption by up to 17%, and by 5% to 8% per voyage on average, as announced before (Note 3).

The Wind Challenger-equipped coal carrier Shofu Maru underway with the sail in operation.   Image by MOL.

MOL has set the target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 in the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2." Among the main actions to achieve this target is the "introduction of further energy-saving technologies," and the group plans to launch 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030, increasing to 80 by 2035.

The MOL Group has accumulated extensive operational technologies through the safe management and efficient operation of an environmentally friendly fleet that combines wind propulsion technology, such as the Wind Challenger. The MOL group will continue to advance its utilization of natural energy while ensuring safety, not only to reduce GHG emissions from its own activities but also to contribute to the decarbonization of society as a whole.

(Note 1) For the delivery and overview of the vessel, please refer to the October 7, 2022, press release: "Delivery of Shofu Maru, World's First Cargo Vessel equipped with 'Wind Challenger' Hard Sail."

(Note 2) The status in which the Wind Challenger sails are operated in automatic control mode is defined as "in operation." Even when in operation, the Wind Challenger is not producing thrust in the event of a headwind. The effect of fuel savings during operation depends largely on the wind conditions encountered by the vessel.

(Note 3) The effect of fuel savings is calculated using a method verified by Lloyd's Register of Shipping (headquartered in the U.K.).

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. press release