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MOL targets 80 wind propulsion installations by 2035

MOL Shofu-Maru-MOL.jpg
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) will install wind propulsion systems on seven newbuilding bulk carriers and a multi-purpose vessel to be operated by MOL Drybulk.

MOL has continously measured the performance of its propietary Wind Challenger system on bulker Shofu Maru since its delivery in October 2022, confirming fuel savings of up to 17% on its voyages.

Under the latest commitment, MOL Group will have a total of nine Wind Challenger-equipped vessels, bringing the total number of its vessels equipped with wind propulsion systems to 11. Six ships will each be equipped with one Wind Challenger sail, with contracts signed at Oshma Shipbuilding for three of those installations.

MOL said it was considering doubling up on wind power with the installation of Rotorsails alongside its Wind Challenger. Annual fuel consumption savings of 7-16% are expected with Wind Challenger installed, and fuel savings of 15-28% per year are projected with Wind Challenger and three Rotorsails. 

A multipurpose ship will have two of Econowind's foldable autonomous Ventfoils installed ahead of delivery in 2025, with fuel savings of around 2% expected.

Wind Challenger uses renewable wind power to supplement a ship's propulsion, reducing fuel consumption from the ship's engines. As the vast majority of vessels use fossil fuels, the reduced fuel consumption brings lower carbon emissions as well as operational cost savings, all while maintaining operating speed.

The first three bulk carriers with Wind Challenger, and the potential added Rotorsails, are due for delivery in the second half of 2026 and first half 2027, with the remaing three bulk carriers due in 2027-2028. The group said it aims to have 25 vessels equipped with Wind Challenger by 2025, and 80 by 2035.