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Quest for Advanced Transport Technologies that Promote Safe Operation and a Cleaner Environment


World's Largest Containership: 20,000 TEU

20,000 TEU-class Containership Environmental Initiatives

MOL will lead the shipping industry in terms of environmental protection by differentiating itself, adopting advanced environmentally-friendly technologies to one of the world largest class containerships, with capacities of 20,000 TEU.
From the energy efficiency improvement by becoming larger and the technologies to reduce environment load, these vessels can reduce CO2 emissions per container moved by about 50% compared to 8,000 TEU containerships, which are the mainstream size today.
* Comparison with MOL-operated latest type 8,000 TEU containerships

Optimized Hull Form

Design refinements in the bow and stern of the hull, and the optimized bulbous bow shape are expected to realize a 4.5% boost in fuel efficiency.

Low-load Tuning with Exhaust Gas Bypass (EGB)

Low-load tuning (LLT), optimizes performance and fuel efficiency in low load ranges.

Efficient Control of Auxiliary Equipment

Inverter control is adopted for the air conditioning system in the living areas, seawater cooling pump, and engine room ventilation fan. Improved control of the large-capacity fan motor rpms minimizes electric power consumption and reduces fuel consumption.

For the Shifting to LNG Fuel

MOL is carrying out feasibility study to allow the ship to run on LNG fuel as a measure to comply with stricter environmental regulations limiting SOx emissions.

Low-friction Hull Paint

Special low-friction paint on the underwater portion of the hull has the potential to significantly reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.

Optimal Adjustment of In-cylinder Pressure

This equipment optimizes the maximum pressure in a cylinder's combustion chamber by monitoring pressure in each engine cylinder and automatically adjusting the fuel injection timing. This auto-tuning optimizes fuel combustion and improves fuel efficiency.

Installation of Exhaust Gas Economizers on Diesel Generators

Exhaust gas economizers are installed on two of four diesel generators. They recover exhaust gas energy from the generator engines, contributing to higher fuel efficiency.

Easy-to-Retrofit SOx Scrubber

Other than allowing the option of using LNG as a fuel, MOL is carrying out feasibility study to allow retrofitting of a SOx scrubber, providing more flexibility in coping with the fuel supply situation in the coming years.

Construction of LNG-fueled Tugboat - 1st in Osaka Bay -

MOL has set its sights on construction of an LNG-fueled tugboat. Nowadays, most vessels are powered by diesel engines, which run on heavy oil. However, the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel can significantly cut exhaust emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide), NOx (nitrogen oxide), and SOx (sulfur oxide), reducing the environmental impact of vessel operation.
The tug’s LNG-fueled engine will be supplied by Yanmar Co., Ltd., and the boat will be constructed at Kanagawa Dockyard Co., Ltd. High-performance dual-fuel engines allow for high-speed operation and realize superior environmental performance. It is the first LNG-fueled tugboat capable of escorting large-scale freighters to plying Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea. Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. will supply LNG fuel and Nihon Tug-Boat Co., Ltd. will start operating the tug in April 2019.
MOL will draw upon the knowledge gained through the tugboat's development and operation as it develops other LNG-fueled vessels, reflecting the group’s proactive stance in promoting the widespread use of LNG fuel.


LNG-fueled tugboat (illustration only)

Leveraging Knowledge gained in Wind Challenger Project in Future Initiatives

The Wind Challenger Project is an industry-academia joint research study with the goal of achieving up to a 50% energy savings by installing huge retractable solid wing sails on large-scale cargo freighters.
The project was launched by Tokyo University in October 2009, with 13 organizations participating, including MOL, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), and shipbuilders, who have developed a large-scale solid wing sail, studied key characteristics of the vessel types targeted in the development, and devised methods for fluid analysis and weather routing. MOL is anticipating the successful completion of the research and the commercialization of an effective wing sail.

Upgraded PBCF Further Improves Propeller Efficiency


Conventional PBCF (inside red circle)


New type of PBCF

Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCFs) have already been adopted on over 3,100 vessels all over the world. MOL, Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc., and MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. jointly developed an improved version of the PBCF that offers even greater energy-saving performance. The upgrade enhances propeller thrust and reduces torque thanks to refinements in fin shape and height, and achieves energy savings of around 5% compared to similar vessels not equipped with the PBCF. The new PBCF design has already been patented around the world.
It is also confirmed that noise is reduced by 3 to 6 decibels in a specific underwater frequency range by reducing cavitation (a phenomenon in which bubbles are formed and dissolved in water). The PBCF was selected as a technology to reduce underwater noise and limit the impact whales and other marine mammals by the Port of Vancouver (Canada)'s "EcoAction" environmental program.

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