Climate Change Countermeasures
MOL Group has formulated "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1" and is working to resolve environmental issues, including climate change countermeasures.
Under MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1, we will tackle climate change countermeasures as central tasks. For the countermeasures, we have set three medium- to long-term targets with the aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Also,we have established a specific pathway for realizing these targets.
- Examples of our efforts
- Next-generation Car Carrier FLEXIE
- New Energy-saving Windshield Installed on Containership MOL MARVEL for Demonstration Test - Cuts Wind Resistance, Saves Fuel, and Reduces CO2 Emissions -
- Low-friction hull paint
- Mechanism for reducing frictional resistance
- Vessel equipped with high-efficiency waste heat energy recovery system
- A Commitment to ECO SAILING
- Improving Transport Efficiency and Increasing Fuel Efficiency
- Working Group for Zero Emission Alternative Fuels
- Investing in Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Business
- Wind Challenger
- LNG-fueled Tugboat
- Long-term Charter Deals for LNG Bunkering Vessels with Total, Pavilion Gas
- Teaming up with Karpowership in LNG-to-Powership Project
- New Partnership Looks toward Zero-emission Fully Electric Vessels
- Upgraded Version of PBCF
- Modal Shift Promotion
- Initiatives to Reduce Environmental Load at Container Terminals
- Environmentally-Friendly Buildings
- Efforts to Reduce the Environmental Impact on Cruise Ships
- MOL Supports Initiatives on Climate Change Countermeasures
Examples of our efforts
Next-generation Car Carrier FLEXIE
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. The new shape is the result of joint research by MOL, MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd., and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.
MOL's next-generation FLEXIE series car carriers received the Good Design Award 2018 from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JDP). MOL's award marked the first win for the shipping industry in nine years.
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.
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.
Mechanism for reducing frictional resistance
※Water Trap Layer: A layer of water developed by trapping water flow with Hydro-Gel
Source:NIPPON PAINT MARINE COATINGS CO., LTD.
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
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.
Working Group for Zero Emission Alternative Fuels
MOL has joined the Carbon Capture & Reuse (CCR) Study Group and launched the "Cross-industrial Working Group Related to Zero Emission Alternative Ship Fuels." The working group aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in international shipping value chains by using synthetic methane (methanation fuel) as an alternative to fossil fuel, the current mainstream fuel for merchant vessels. Synthetic methane is generated by methanation technology that combines CO2 with renewable energy-derived hydrogen.
The MOL Group will develop and drive the new "Environment and Emission Free Businesses" with the aim of making them core operations in the next generation. These include "Renewable Energy Business," "Alternative Fuel Business," "CO2 Emissions Reduction Business," and "Environmental Value Creation Business," which we see as business opportunities. CO2 emissions from ocean-going vessels account for 2% of the worldwide total, in fact, negatively impacting the environment. Therefore, we will steadily promote those businesses as part of our social responsibility as an ocean shipping company.
Renewable EnergyInvesting in Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Business
MOL invested in Seajacks International Limited (Seajacks) Group, which owns and operates five Wind Turbine Installation vessels (WTIV)(Note 1).
This is a new offshore business for MOL, and also the first step into the renewable energy business field through involvement in installation of offshore wind power generation systems, which is expanding in Europe and other areas around the world.
MOL continually contributes to environmental protection in areas and ports worldwide, and takes a proactive stance in promoting thoroughly safe operation and ocean and global environmental protection in compliance with our corporate principles.
(Note 1) WTIV:
The platform is equipped with legs that rest on the seabed and move up and down. The vessel installs offshore wind power generation systems by moving the platform up to the sea surface with a crane. By raising and maintaining a level higher than the waves, the generators can operate even in rough seas. It can be used not only to install offshore wind power generation systems, but also to help maintain offshore oil and gas rigs.
MOL participates in the "Wind Challenger Project" (launched in 2009), a joint industry-academia research project led by the University of Tokyo. The project focuses on using advanced sails to provide propulsion for merchant vessels. It aims to reduce vessels' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by maximizing the use of wind power. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. took over the university-led project and launched an initiative aimed at equipping a vessel with sails. MOL will select a vessel for the project within fiscal 2019, with the launch of operations slated for 2022.
1st LNG-fueled Tugboat Launched to Serve Osaka Bay
LNG-fueled vessels have the potential to significantly reduce the impact of ocean transport, because the combustion of LNG produces almost zero sulfur oxide (SOx) and much lower emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to vessels that run on conventional heavy fuel oil.
The LNG-fueled tugboat Ishin, launched in February 2019, marks a major step toward a cleaner future for the ocean shipping industry. The Ishin is equipped with high-performance, dual-fuel commercial marine engines (Note 1) that deliver high-speed operation and excellent environmental performance. It is Japan's first tugboat built to conform to the IGF code (Note 2).
In addition, its excellent environmental performance earned the top rating of four stars from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)'s energy-saving rating program for Japan's coastal ships (Note 3).
MOL positions the Ishin as a part of the "ISHIN NEXT – MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT -," and will build on this experience in the development and operations of various types of LNG-fueled vessels. The company will also take a proactive stance in promoting the adoption of LNG fuels through vessel technology development and operation.
Dual-fuel commercial marine engines: An engine designed to run on both A fuel oil and LNG
The IGF Code stands for the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels, aimed at ensuring the safety of LNG-fueled vessels. The code establishes safety requirements for vessels that run on gas and low-flashpoint fuels, and took effect on January 1, 2017.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)'s energy-saving rating program aims to "visualize" energy savings and the effects of CO2 reduction in the vessel planning and design stages and objectively evaluate ships' energy-saving and CO2 reduction performance to foster the development of coastal ships that offer greater energy saving and CO2 reduction.
Long-term Charter Deals for LNG Bunkering Vessels with Total, Pavilion Gas
MOL has signed long-term charter contracts for LNG bunkering vessels with Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions and with Pavilion Gas Pte. Ltd., in February 2018 and February 2019, respectively.
Demand for LNG as bunker fuel is expected to grow on a global scale as stricter SOx emissions standards take effect in January 2020 (Note 1). In April 2017, with the aim of speeding up progress on business related to alternative bunker fuels such as LNG, MOL established the Bunker Business Division to enter the bunker business in an integrated fashion. We aim to promote the expanded use of LNG-fueled vessels and further expand LNG fuel supply business.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is limiting the sulfur content of bunker fuel to reduce vessel exhaust emissions of SOx and prevent air pollution. The current limit of 3.5% sulfur content in bunker fuel is being reduced to 0.5% as of January 2020. Main measures to comply with the new standards include (1) installation of onboard scrubbers, (2) use of compliant fuel, and (3) transition to LNG as fuel.
Teaming up with Karpowership in LNG-to-Powership Project
In March 2019, Karpower International B.V. (Karpowership) and MOL agreed to collaborate in the LNG-to-Powership business, with the goal of becoming the world's most reliable and preferable LNG-to-Powership solution provider, under the brand name "KARMOL." The parties aim to co-invest in the related assets and joint market their solution in selected markets around the world.
Generating power through the Powership® by receiving regasified LNG through a floating LNG storage and regasification unit (FSRU), KARMOL will provide reliable electricity to shore grids and facilities. The synergy of MOL's track record and expertise in the LNG carrier and FSRU business and Karpowership's background in the Powership® business will allow for constructive solutions in power generation.
New Partnership Looks toward Zero-emission Fully Electric Vessels
In August 2019, Asahi Tanker Co., Ltd., Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, and MOL agreed to create a strategic partnership to provide new infrastructure services in the marine shipping industry that focus on electrically powered vessels, and established company a new company called e5 Lab. Inc. (e5 Lab).
The first objective for e5 Lab will be to build the world's first zero-emission tanker by mid-2021. The tanker will be a coastal vessel powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay.
Upgraded Version of PBCF
In 2017, MOL Group, MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. started selling an upgraded version of its energy-saving Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), which is a pioneering energy-saving device for propellers, and has been adopted on more than 3,300 vessels all over the world. The new type of PBCF was jointly developed by MOL, Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc., and MOL Techno-Trade. The new design enhances propeller thrust and reduces the load on the propeller shafts thanks to refinements in fin shape and height. Tests of the new type PBCF on vessels in service confirmed an energy savings of around 5% compared to sister vessels not equipped with PBCF.
PBCF is also recognized for its effectiveness in reducing underwater noise. It has been confirmed that sound pressure can be reduced in the range of 100-1,000 Hz by reducing the cavitation of the propeller. PBCF was selected as a technology to reduce cavitation in the "EcoAction Program" implemented by the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada), and in turn limit underwater noise, which adversely affects whales and other marine mammals.
Furthermore, MOL Techno-Trade has joined a Green Award Program aimed at promoting high-quality shipping, run by the nonprofit Green Award Foundation. The company encourages efforts to reduce environmental impact by offering preferential prices on its energy-saving PBCF to vessels and shipping companies that engage in environmental protection efforts.
Modal Shift Promotion
Modal shift involves a switch from transporting freight by plane or vehicle to ships or other means that can transport large volumes of freight all at once. It is a very effective way of reducing CO2 emissions. The MOL Group offers transportation services by ship around the world and provides environmentally-friendly transportation services as one of the largest ferry and domestic shipping service firms in Japan.
Initiatives to Reduce Environmental Load at Container Terminals
Utoc Corporation, Shosen Koun Co., Ltd.
MOL and MOL Group company Utoc Corporation installed a 200 kW solar power generation system at the Tokyo International Container Terminal in 2007. In fiscal 2019, the system generated approximately 201,070 kWh of power, which covered about 36% of the power needs for the control building. In addition, Utoc Corporation and Shosen Koun Co., Ltd. Have also progressively introduced hybrid transfer cranes at their container terminals in Tokyo and Kobe, respectively. These cranes consume approximately 40% less fuel than conventional ones.
"Shin-Daibiru Building Dojima-no-mori" inherits the spirit of the former Shin-Daibiru Building rooftop tree garden and with the concept of "a forest that is good for not only people but also other living things" we have replanted some of the trees planted in the former building's "rooftop tree garden," including Japanese zelkovas and maples that are around 50 years old, and in addition we use primarily indigenous varieties of trees to create a green space of approximately 1,000 tsubo, the same as in the former building. Due to these initiatives, we became the first in West Japan to acquire AAA evaluation, the highest rank, in JHEP Certification which evaluates contributions to the ecosystem.
Efforts to Reduce the Environmental Impact on Cruise Ships
Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, Ltd. (MOPAS)
Energy-saving features on the cruise ship Nippon Maru include specially formulated bottom paint that reduces friction against seawater and highly polished propeller blades. In addition, a switch to more efficient LED lighting is underway in the onboard lighting system. These initiatives are expected to reduce fuel consumption and in turn cut GHG emissions. Other measures include the adoption of eco products, the introduction of a system in which guest cabin towels are replaced only on request, and reducing the use of paper bags and wrapping paper in onboard shops. These are some of the ways the Nippon Maru, with the cooperation of its passengers, strives to reduce the environmental impact not only of vessel operation in general, but also activities specific to a cruise ship.
MOL Supports Initiatives on Climate Change Countermeasures
- Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) agreed with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations in November 2018.
MOL also takes part in the TCFD Consortium (Note 1) established in May 2019.
In October 2021, Senior Managing Executive Officer Toshiaki Tanaka participated in the TCFD Summit 2021 as a panelist.
MOL utilizes knowledge gained through TCFD to develop our management strategies and engage in effective disclosure of climate change-related risks and opportunities and how they will affect the company's business.
- Information Disclosure based on TCFD Recommendations
- MOL SMEO Tanaka Serves as Panelist During TCFD Summit 2021 Event
The consortium was established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of the Environment, with the Financial Services Agency as an observer, in addition to Japanese corporations and financial institutions that agree with TCFD recommendations. It provides opportunities for corporations to effectively disclose information related to TCFD recommendations and discuss initiatives for financial institutions and so on to make use of such information in making informed investment decisions.
- Participation in the Getting to Zero Coalition (GTZC)
MOL participates in the GTZC (Note 1), a coalition of companies aiming to decarbonize shipping.
Also, MOL has signed the "Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization", which is called for by the GTZC. Takeshi Hashimoto, Representative Director President at MOL was invited as a speaker to the public launch event of the Call to Action held on September 22, where he introduced MOL's efforts towards decarbonization.
Getting to Zero Coalition
The Getting to Zero Coalition is a powerful alliance of more than 150 companies within the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors, supported by key governments and IGOs. The Coalition is committed to getting commercially viable deep sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels into operation by 2030.
- 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.
- Endorsing the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's GX League Basic Plan
MOL has expressed its endorsement of the GX League Basic Plan*1 announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We will make all efforts to contribute towards achieving a decarbonized society in Japan and around the world.
*1 GX League Basic Plan (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)
The "GX League" was established as a place where "a group of companies" could actively engage in GX (Green Transformation) in cooperation with other players in government, academia, and finance who are taking on the challenges of GX. Participants will engage in discussions aiming for the transformation of the entire economic and social system and practices for the creation of new markets. The basic concept was announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The following initiatives are planned:
discussions on the future image of the carbon-neutral age for consumers, discussions on the formation of a new GX market (rulemaking, etc.) based on the future image, and trial of voluntary emission trading for efficient emission reduction in society.