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Environmental designs bubble over for NYK and Mitsubishi Heavy

Tokyo: NYK and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are to begin experiments on an air-lubrication system to reduce CO2 emissions during marine transport. Jointly developed by the two companies, the system effectively reduces the frictional resistance between a vessel's bottom and the seawater by means of bubbles generated by supplying air to the vessel's bottom. The world's first permanent installation of the system using an air-blower is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10 percent. The experiments will be conducted using module carriers operated by an NYK Group company, NYK-Hinode Line. Construction of the vessels will be completed on March 31 and in late November 2010.
Compared to other large vessels, a module carrier has a wide, shallow-draft hull that generates relatively little water pressure and accordingly minimizes the electric energy required by an air blower to supply air to the vessel's bottom. Moreover, due to the flat, wide bottom, the supplied air is considered to be readily retained under the vessel's bottom. This project is subsidized through Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's "Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2" project for fiscal 2009, and is also supported by ClassNK and the Nippon Foundation. [24/02/10]


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