MOL And J-Power To Retrofit Coal Carrier With Wind Challenger System


  • Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (JPower) have announced the retrofitting of the Wind Challenger hard sail wind power propulsion system on the coal carrier Kurotakisan Maru III.
  • This marks the world’s first retrofit of such technology on an inservice vessel, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during fuel transportation.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) and Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (JPower; President and CEO: Hitoshi Kanno) have agreed to install the Wind Challenger hard sail wind power propulsion system on the coal carrier Kurotakisan Maru III. The system, which converts wind energy into propulsive force, will be retrofitted on the vessel in the second half of 2025. This will be the first retrofit of the Wind Challenger on an inservice vessel.

Environmental Impact

The Wind Challenger is expected to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 5% on JapanAustralia voyages and about 8% on JapanNorth America West Coast voyages compared to conventional vessels of the same type. This reduction in emissions contributes to more sustainable fuel transportation.

Commitment to Net-Zero Emissions

MOL has set a target of achieving netzero GHG emissions by 2050, as outlined in the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2.” One of the key strategies to meet this goal is the introduction of energysaving technologies like the Wind Challenger. MOL aims to have 25 vessels equipped with the Wind Challenger by 2030, increasing to 80 vessels by 2035. The company continues to explore and implement windassisted energysaving technologies to reduce GHG emissions and support the realization of a lowcarbon society.

Vessel Specifications

  • Ship Name: Kurotakisan Maru III
  • Ship Operator: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
  • LOA: 234.96 meters
  • Breadth: 38.00 meters
  • Deadweight Tonnage: 89,999 tons
  • Delivery Date: December 2, 2021
  • Shipyard: Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
  • Ship Registry: Republic of Panama

Technology Background

The Wind Challenger, developed by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding, uses telescoping hard sails to harness wind energy for propulsion. The Kurotakisan Maru III will be the second Wind Challenge-requipped coal carrier for MOL, following the Shofu Maru for Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. The technology aims to significantly reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions, contributing to MOL’s sustainability goals.

Additional Information

The effectiveness of the Wind Challenger has been validated through the performance of the Shofu Maru, which achieved a 17% fuel savings. MOL’s continued investment in such technologies demonstrates its commitment to environmental conservation and innovation in marine technology.

Sustainability Initiatives

MOL identifies “Sustainability Issues” as key areas for growth and societal contribution. The retrofitting of the Wind Challenger on the Kurotakisan Maru III is expected to significantly support the goals of environmental conservation and technological innovation.

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Source: MOL