GHG Emissions Reduction Technologies for Biomass Supply Chain
Global Energy Company specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy Enviva and Mitsui OSK Lines announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding agreement to develop and deploy an environmentally friendly bulk carrier. The goal of the agreement is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the ocean transportation of sustainable wood pellets. In the initial stage, the partnership will explore the environmental benefits, commercial and operational feasibilities of various technologies. This will include the "Wind Challenger", a cargo ship design with a hard sail, which would reduce emissions by harnessing wind energy. MOL have been jointly studying the technology with cross-industrial partners.
The Wind Challenger Project started in 2009 with the "Wind Challenger Plan," an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and in January 2018, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding took charge of the plan and now play a central role in this project. In October 2019, it acquired Approval in Principle (AIP) for the design of a hard sail system. In December 2020, MOL reached a coal transport deal with Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. using a coal carrier equipped with a Wind Challenger sail. The vessel will be constructed at Oshima Shipbuilding, and is scheduled to commence service by the end of 2022.