One of the environmental strategies in our midterm management plan, "GEAR UP! MOL," is to reduce CO2 emissions per unit load (ton-mile) by 10% in fiscal 2015 compared with fiscal 2009. This target applies to ocean-going vessels operated by MOL and domestic consolidated subsidiaries. In order to achieve the targeted reduction, we are developing and adopting new environmental technologies, thoroughly practicing ECO SAILING, and introducing larger vessels. In fiscal 2011, the company and consolidated subsidiaries achieved a reduction of 2.1% year on year (and a reduction of 7.5% compared with fiscal 2009). These reductions were achieved through further adoption of reduced navigation speeds, and also reflected the benefits of investments in environmental facilities.
Refer to this environmental data compilation for information on MOL CO2 emissions.
In this section, we introduce continuous measures to achieve the target of reducing CO2 emissions.
The MOL Group is engaged in developing various environmental technologies for ships. In Feature 2 (Senpaku ISHIN), we look at core component technologies of the Senpaku ISHIN project. In this section, we showcase other main initiatives.
Use of Renewable Energy
Besides solar power generation showcased in Feature 2, the company is taking part in the "Wind Challenger Project" led by The University of Tokyo. This project is researching wind-propelled ships, which involves using sails as the main driving power, with a propulsion system in an auxiliary role. In addition to MOL, two other ocean shipping companies, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, shipbuilders and other parties are participating in the project. Launched in September 2009, the project is now developing large-scale solid sail structures using composite materials, as well as examining particulars for vessel designs to develop, and developing fluid analysis techniques and weather routing methods.
PBCF Boost Vessels' Propulsion Power
Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), jointly developed by MOL and other parties, improve propeller efficiency. PBCF produce a 4% to 5% improvement in fuel efficiency at the same speed, along with commensurate reductions in CO2 emissions. These fins have been widely installed on MOL operated vessels, as well as other vessels around the world. As of March 31, 2012, PBCF had been introduced to more than 2,100 vessels worldwide, including vessels scheduled to be built. MOL is currently developing new PBCF with AKISHIMA LABORATORIES (MITSUI ZOSEN ) INC ., which target a further improvement in fuel efficiency of another 1 point. An additional patent was filed for them in March 2009. We aim to make these new fins commercially available as early as possible.
R&D on high-performance antifouling ship bottom paints that improve vessels' fuel efficiency
Ships consume most of their fuel in overcoming the resistance when navigating. Reducing this resistance contributes directly to lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The drag of seawater over a vessel's wetted surface accounts for 50% to 80% of all resistance, including wind and wave resistance. MOL has teamed up with Nippon Paint Co., Ltd. and Nippon Paint Marine Coatings Co., Ltd. to develop a super-slick antifouling ship bottom paint with high performance friction-reducing properties. The paint will dramatically reduce fuel consumption by reducing seawater drag. This research and development is part of our commitment to realizing Senpaku ISHIN, and is expected to lower CO2 emissions by 8% to 12% compared to conventional antifouling paints.
Wind resistance-reducing design
The unique shape of car carriers means that there is a large surface area exposed to wind pressure, and the impact of this resistance is considerable. In 2003, MOL took delivery of the Courageous Ace, which was the first vessel to adopt a beveled, rounded superstructure at the bow. Since then, MOL has deepened research on vessel shapes to lower wind resistance. Under the Senpaku ISHIN project, the company is aiming to make further improvements to the shape of ships' sterns. The benefits of these improvements are being validated with Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc. In December 2010, the MOL Group's reduced wind resistance car carrier fleet was joined by the City of St. Petersburg, which is owned by Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd. Built by Kyokuyo Shipyard Corporation, this vessel can carry up to 2,000 cars. A sleek, semispherical bow design reduces wind resistance by up to 50% compared to Nissan Motor Car Carrier's existing vessels. This unique bow design has received high marks, with the vessel selected as the "Ship of the Year 2010" by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers in May 2011.
A Commitment to ECO SAILING
To save fuel and reduce environmental impact, we monitor energy flow in our vessels and do our utmost to eliminate energy losses in our operations. We call this approach ECO SAILING. We rigorously apply the principles of ECO SAILING whenever we operate vessels. Specifically, we 1) properly reduce navigation speeds, 2) take advantage of weather and sea condition forecasts and the optimum trim, 3) select optimum routes, 4) reduce vessels' wetted surfaces, 5) optimize operation and maintenance of main engines, auxiliary equipment and other machinery, 6) develop energy-efficient ship designs, and 7) equip vessels with Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF).
MOL has proven on MOL-operated vessels that it is possible to achieve continuous operation in a load range that couldn't be used in the past by increasing the output of the main engine's auxiliary blower motor. This accomplishment has increased the opportunities for practicing slow steaming.
Optimum trim system
MOL has developed an optimum trim system for vessels along with AKISHIMA LABORATORIES (MITSUI ZOSEN) Inc . The optimum trim system quantitatively assesses MOL captains' extensive practical knowledge of vessel running attitudes through tank testing and actual ship testing. This data is translated into graphs that make it easy for seafarers to use. A pilot test of the system on a car carrier using optimum trim showed an increase of up to 4% in fuel efficiency compared to the conventional condition. MOL expects that it won't be long before all vessels will navigate with optimum trim.
Increasing Transportation Efficiency with Larger Ships
MOL believes that the introduction of larger vessels and improvement of propulsion are effective measures to fulfill the social responsibility of the shipping industry to meet burgeoning international demand for ocean shipping and, at the same time, to prevent global warming. In December 2007, MOL took delivery of the Brasil Maru (approximately 320,000 DWT), one of the world's largest iron ore carriers. The Brasil Maru combines her very large size with excellent propulsion and an energy-saving design such as propellers specially designed to improve propulsion efficiency. These qualities earned the Brasil Maru selection as the "Ship of the Year 2007" by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers.