MOL Announces New Hull Design
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced the hull design for its next-generation car carrier, Flexie, which will be built at Minaminippon Shipbuilding in Japan and delivered in 2017.
The rounded bow shape will minimize wind resistance and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about two percent compared to today's car carriers. The new shape is the result of joint research by MOL, MOL Techno-Trade and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen).
MOL has already developed the wind resistance-reducing car carrier Courageous Ace, which received the Ship of the Year 2003, a new energy-saving windshield for containerships 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 new bow design is a result of those efforts.
An Order for Four
Last year, MOL signed a contract with Minaminippon Shipbuilding to build four next-generation car carriers. The vessels will be delivered in 2017 and 2018 and serve on MOL's worldwide car carrier services.
Deck construction of the car carriers will be substantially altered to change the number of decks from the current 12 to 14. Furthermore, the number of liftable decks will be increased from two to six. This means two adjustable decks can be placed between two fixed decks. The newly designed liftable decks will offer greater flexibility in accommodating vehicles of different heights, improving loading efficiency and meeting demand for more diversified vehicle transport.
The car carriers will be installed with electronically-controlled diesel engine with Low Load Optimisation tuning by Exhaust Gas Bypass technology. The new carriers will also adopt waste heat energy recovery system for generator engines and electric power consumption reduction technology.
In addition, the vessels' hull form design will be improved, especially for low-speed range, based on ship performance analysis of existing carriers.
Capacity: 6,800 units (standard passenger vehicles)