Monday, December 21, 2009

Japanese Shipping Lines Continue To Develop New Technologies For Cleaner Freight

MOL Develop Fuel Additive to Reduce CO2 Whilst NYK Receives Funding For Research
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have announced the development of a carbon-dioxide-reducing, efficiency-boosting fuel additive for merchant ships, which they have created in conjunction with Japan's largest fuel additive manufacturer, Taihokohzai. MOL plan to use the new additive, called TAICRUSH HD, on its operated vessels to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

TAICRUSH HD improves the ignition performance and sludge (carbon and sediment) dispersion in heavy fuel oils. A release from MOL states that the new additive reduces ignition delay and afterburning time by more than 30%. Compared to conventional fuel oil additives for large-scale vessels, TAICRUSH HD promotes improved combustion and reduced fuel consumption.

This new additive has been tested on 106 voyages onboard a large Japanese coastal ferry which has a constant sailing schedule and is rarely affected by disturbance effects such as severe marine weather. The data the development team collected from these trials indicated that fuel efficiency improvements ranging from 1.12% to 1.46% had been achieved.

Meanwhile, rival Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Lines has received subsidies from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for four of its technology development projects under the ministry’s “Support for Technology Development for Curtailing CO2 from Marine Vessels” program.

The four research projects are examining various ways to further improve ships fuel efficiency and are being investigated by NYK and a range of other companies, noticeably the Monohakobi Technology Institute (who are also helping NYK to develop their new concept container vessel), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

The subsidies will assist in the development of a number of new technologies such as a vessel performance monitoring system, which will measure precisely the movement of waves and that of vessels’ hulls, and calculate the effect on the propulsion performance of vessels; a load-fluctuation stabilizer to counteract the negative effect that heavy weather has on vessel performance and research into the application of Nickel-Hydrogen batteries as a hybrid power source for large vessels.

In addition, the company is involved in a project to equip a Capesize bulk carrier with the world's first hybrid turbocharger generating system for vessels and proving its effectiveness. The system, to be trialed onboard ship in 2011, can provide all electricity needed on board during ordinary operations. This will make it unnecessary to operate a diesel power generator during operations, which will reduce fuel and maintenance costs, and curtail CO2 emissions.

The various projects show how seriously the big Japanese shipping lines are on the problem of climate change and how they are committed to reducing their own contribution as much as possible.

The cooperation on goals and funding that these companies have achieved with the Japanese government are also a good example for other nations and companies to follow.

 (For shipping services to the Far East see Sea Freight Services - LCL Carriers/Consolidators and Sea Freight Services - FCL Conventional Carriers)