Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced the hull design for the “FLEXIE,” its next-generation car carrier, which will be built at Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and delivered in 2017.
The rounded bow shape 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.
This isn’t MOL’s first venture into developing new vessel designs. MOL also developed the wind resistance-reducing car carrier Courageous Ace, which received the Ship of the Year 2003, the new energy-saving windshield for container ships to reduce wind resistance, and a new prototype sailing rig called the “Power Assist Sail.” The company is participating in the “Wind Challenger Project,” promoting research and development on ways to cut wind resistance and utilize wind to help propel the merchant ships of the future. The innovative bow design introduced today is a result of those efforts.
The MOL Group has also launched the “Senpaku ISHIN” project to develop innovative new vessels that will reduce the environmental impact of vessel operations. It continues R&D on a range of environmental technologies, and works to protect the environment by reducing the volume of CO2 emissions generated by vessels.