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Prevention of Global Warming


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The Paris Agreement was adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015. This is an innovative framework with the participation of UNFCCC 196 member countries. The universal agreement's main aim is to keep the rise of global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. It also mentioned that the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line to reduce risk. The agreement commits to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from human activities during the second half of the century.

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) formulates measures to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the international ocean shipping industry. Because merchant vessels ply waters all over the world, no single nation can address the myriad issues related to their operation, and international initiatives are indispensable. In April 2018, IMO adopted a measure calling for a 40% reduction in GHG emissions (compared to 2008) by 2030, and 50% reduction (compared to 2008) by 2050.

Next-generation Car Carrier FLEXIE

The new shape is the result of joint research by MOL, MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd., and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.

On March 2018, "BELUGA ACE" the first vessel of Next-generation Car Carrier"FLEXIE" series has been delivered. The name is derived from the word "flexible," which refers to features such as the newly designed liftable decks, and expresses not only the ship's flexibility in boosting loading efficiency, but also in fulfilling MOL's sales and marketing strategy aimed at meeting diverse customer demands. The rounded bow shape of the FLEXIE will minimize wind resistance and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2% compared to today's car carriers.

New Energy-saving Windshield Installed on Containership MOL MARVEL for Demonstration Test - Cuts Wind Resistance, Saves Fuel, and Reduces CO2 Emissions -

We have started demonstration tests of a new windshield for containerships, which has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel, and reduce CO2 emissions. MOL jointly developed the device with MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd., Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Inc., Akishima Laboratory (Mitsui Zosen) Inc., and the University of Tokyo. The project was backed by the "Joint R&D for Industry Program", in which Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) promotes wide-ranging R&D activities in cooperation with industry, government and academia.

The new windshield was installed on the bow of the MOL-operated containership MOL MARVEL, and a demonstration test of its effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions is under way. With today's larger containerships, the height of the containers loaded on their decks has increased, subjecting the vessels to greater wind resistance. MOL recognized the need to address this issue in a cost-effective way. Development of the new device began with an examination of the bow's aerodynamic form through wind tunnel testing. This led to the adoption of a horseshoe-shaped design, which encloses the front line of the stacked containers to maximize the wind resistance-reducing effect while minimizing the weight of the main unit. The new windshield has enough design strength to meet the ClassNK rules concerning wave impact pressure. In addition, by obliquely setting the containers placed along the sides of the vessel behind the windshield, the sides of the vessel will be more streamlined, further reducing wind resistance.

With those measures, MOL expects an annual average reduction of 2% in CO2 emissions, assuming the device is mounted on a 6,700 TEU containership plying the North Pacific Ocean route at speed of 17 knots. The new windshield is also expected to protect ships from green water on the bow deck when sailing in bad weather.

Variable Phase Cycle (VPC)

VPC is a system that recovers waste heat from sources of low-temperature heat, which has not been utilized before. Use of a low-boiling-point fluid allows the recovery of motive power from sources of low-temperature heat of the engine scavenging air coolant.

MOL, in cooperation with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK) and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., confirmed the effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions by the demonstration test.

VPC allows the recovery of heat without evaporating the working fluid in the heat exchanger equipped with the engine scavenge air coolant. This mechanism relies on a two-phase flow nozzle and turbine. The working fluid turns into a gas-liquid twophase flow when passing through the nozzle. When the gas flow is accelerated, the momentum is simultaneously transmitted from a gas phase to a liquid phase to become a two-phase jet, which rotates the turbine wheel to recover the motive power. Heat is exchanged directly from the liquid phase, simplifying the equipment configuration.


Low-friction hull paint

MOL takes a proactive stance in adopting anti-fouling paints, which can enhance the smoothness of coated surfaces and reduce friction as the hull moves through the water. Advanced hull paints use special polymers to control their rheology properties and reduce the surface tension of the paint. MOL has confirmed a reduction in fuel consumption averaging around 3% reduction after applying these advanced paints to vessels in services.

Vessel equipped with high-efficiency waste heat energy recovery system

The bulk carrier Azul Brisa, equipped with a high-efficiency waste heat energy recovery system, was delivered on June 16, 2014. This high-efficiency waste heat energy recovery system uses waste heat energy recovered from the main engine to generate electricity with a hybrid turbocharger equipped to generate power, and a turbo generator, which is combined with a steam turbine. The electricity generated satisfies electrical demands of the vessel, and can be used for propulsion through the main engine's shaft motor fitted to the crankshaft, helping to reduce CO2 emissions by reducing fuel consumption of the power generator and the main engine.

Offshore testing of the vessel has confirmed a reduction of more than 5% in CO2 emissions. Developed along similar lines, a propulsion assist system using the main engine's waste heat energy has been highly evaluated, and was selected for the 2014 Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE) Award (for inventions, designs, etc.).

A Commitment to ECO SAILING

ECO SAILING is an approach to saving fuel and reducing environmental impact. Together with R&D on environmental technologies, we are also using operational measures to reduce fuel consumption. Specifically, we 1) decelerate to the most economical navigation speeds, 2) take advantage of weather and sea condition forecasts, 3) take the optimum trim, 4) select optimum routes, 5) reduce vessels' wetted surfaces, 6) optimize operation and maintenance of main engines, auxiliary equipment and other machinery, 7) develop energy efficient ship designs, and 8) equip vessels with Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF).

Improving Transport Efficiency and Increasing Fuel Efficiency

Containership MOL Triumph

The world's first largest over 20,000 TEU-class (capacity: 20,170 TEUs) was launched on the Asia/North Europe routes, and is operated by MOL.

The vessel is equipped with a range of highly advanced energy-saving technologies including low friction underwater paint, a high efficiency propeller and rudder, a Savor Stator stream fin on the hull body, and an optimized fine hull form which together can further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per container moved by about 25-30% when compared to 14,000 TEU-class containerships.

Additionally, the vessel has been designed with a retrofit option to convert to LNG fuel in view of the implementation of the new regulation in the future.

The MOL Triumph is equipped with the Hull Stress Monitoring System, which constantly monitors the status of the hull while the vessel is underway, and a ship operation monitoring system using high-speed data transmission technology, in addition to environmental technology. Swift transmission of information between ship and shore also contributes to safer vessel operation.

Active Participation to Enhance Initiatives on Global Warming

MOL participate in three initiatives to address the issue of global warming.

  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

    TCFD is a task force established by Financial Stability Board (FSB)(Note 1), and its recommendations encourage companies to disclose information on climate change-related impacts and risks facing businesses and share it among institutional investors and financial institutions.
    As of 20th November, 547 corporations have pledged to participate in TCFD.
    Backed by a Ministry of Environment subsidy, MOL is working on a scenario analysis(note 2) based on TCFD recommendations.

    TCFD website : https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/

  • Japan Climate Initiative (JCI)

    JCI, which was inaugurated under the Paris Agreement, is a network of companies, municipalities, and NGOs taking a proactive stance in addressing climate changes. Through JCI, MOL will work closely with other participating companies and organizations to develop solutions to environmental issues.

    JCI website : https://japanclimate.org/english/


    COOL CHOICE is Japan's national movement to encourage low-carbon products, services, and lifestyles to achieve the goal of reducing the nation's greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions.
    MOL has worked to reduce GHG emissions by developing ship technologies including its "Senpaku ISHIN NEXT" project and improving vessel operational efficiency. Through their participation in COOL CHOICE, all MOL members are united in striving toward a low-carbon society through workstyle reforms even in the offices such as turning off unnecessary lights and using less paper.

    COOL CHOICE website : https://ondankataisaku.env.go.jp/coolchoice/index.html

(Note 1)
FSB is an international institution, which members are ministry of finance, financial regulatory authorities, and governors of central banks in 25 major countries of the world

(Note 2)
Scenario analysis: Analyze impact of risks and opportunities involved in future climate changes on a company's profits and apply the results in developing business strategies.
Physical impact due to future climate changes (e.g. temperature rise, sea level rise) and transition to low-carbon society (e.g. environmental regulations, carbon tax, etc.) are difficult to predict, and may affect mid- and long-term profits. Scenario analysis is regarded as an effective means of assessing such impact.

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