Shofu Maru, World’s First Cargo Vessel Equipped With ‘Wind Challenger’ Hard Sail Delivered

A coal carrier outfitted with Wind Challenger (a hard sail wind power propulsion system) was delivered and began operation on October 7, 2022, according to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto, Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo) and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (President: Kojiro Higuchi; Headquarters: Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture). When the ship was finished, Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (President: Eiichi Hiraga; Headquarters: Saikai-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture) staged a naming and handover ceremony, during which the ship was given the name SHOFU MARU.

The SHOFU MARU, the first ship in the world with Wind Challenger, will transport coal for Tohoku Electric Power Co., mostly from Australia, Indonesia, and North America. In comparison to a conventional vessel of the same type, the introduction of the Wind Challenger is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage and by about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage and help to reduce GHG emissions during fuel transportation.

MOL and Tohoku Electric Power Co. keep up their efforts to stabilize the transportation of energy resources and lessen their negative environmental effects.

A technology called the Wind Challenger was created primarily by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding and uses a telescoping hard sail to harness wind power to move the ship. It is possible to minimize the amount of fuel required for operation by installing the system, which is anticipated to have a positive influence on the environment and increase economic efficiency.

SHO FU translates to “pine” and “wind” (matsu and kaze, respectively). The name of the ship is taken from “Kaze no Matsubara,” black pine trees planted in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, to prevent erosion, and “Wind from Wind Challenger,” in the expectation that the ship will function effectively even under challenging circumstances. The shipping contract was announced on December 10, 2020.

Outline of the coal carrier SHOFU MARU with the Wind Challenger:

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