Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Shipping And Multi Modal Freight Carrier Paints A Greener Picture

MOL Continue Their Mission to Clean Up the Seas
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – WORLDWIDE – It was only earlier this month that we reported yet another initiative by Mitsui OSK (MOL), one of the world’s largest multi-modal transport companies best known for their ocean freight container vessels, who are planning to use vessel generated electricity on their next generation of car carriers in a bid to reduce harmful emissions. Now, the group have issued details of a less glamorous, but no less important technical advance which it has introduced to the latest additions to its fleet.

Last November we detailed the company’s trials of low friction hull paint, a seemingly innocuous change to one of the basic essentials of the shipbuilding process which can make a measurable difference to fuel consumption. MOL tell us they have incorporated such a product into their latest newbuilds, car carriers Brilliant Ace, completed in March and Eternal Ace finished just yesterday. Both vessels were built by Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co. Ltd and each having a capacity of 6,400 units of standard passenger cars.

The main characteristic of the new paint, developed by Chugoku Marine Paint is the high smoothness of their paint film surface, the result of a newly developed low-viscosity hydrolyzed polymer. The ultra-smooth finish minimizes friction drag between the hull and the water, improving fuel efficiency by 3-5% compared to an identical vessel with a conventional hull coating. Called Seaflo Neo, the new environment-friendly paint is also low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), a major source of air pollution.

With companies such as MOL, who manage a fleet of over eight hundred and fifty ships, taking the environmental initiative, it is to be hoped that ocean freight will project a cleaner image in a world where every effort to reduce CO2 and sulphur and nitrous emissions is generally viewed as essential.