(Image Source: blogimg.goo.ne.jp)
This week’s Interesting Ship of The Week was actually recently named Ship of The Year for 2007 by The Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers. Her name is Brasil Maru, a 320,000 DWT iron ore carrier operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL). The selection committee noted that the Brasil Maru is a pioneering vessel in reducing iron ore transport cost which will have a great effect on steel production. A June 18, 2008 press release from MOL reads:
Brasil Maru Vessel Characteristics
First of all, the Brasil Maru reflects the needs of the times, offering high efficiency thanks to its large size. With deadweight tonnage of 320,000 tons which is one of the world’s largest, it is the optimal size to transport iron ore produced in Brazil. MOL, with its customer (Nippon Steel Corporation), shipyard (Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.), and shipowner (Tamou Line S.A.) spent a year and a half studying and designing the vessel. It was built in Japan, where such large-scale iron ore carriers had never been constructed, and is ideally suited to meet increasing demand for transport of iron ore from Brazil to Japan via shuttle service.
Starting with the Brasil Maru, more than 50 iron ore carriers in the 300,000 dwt class have been ordered around the world. The Brasil Maru is truly the forerunner of future iron ore transport.
The vessel’s design relied on the most advanced computer simulation to optimize environmental protection and safe operation. It offers high-performance course stability that takes water flow into account, and excellent maneuverability. In addition, UIT, a revolutionary method of treating steel surfaces, was used to more than double resistance to metal fatigue in the welded parts.
At the same time, its environmental burden per unit load is reduced by making the vessel larger (reducing CO2 emissions by 20% compared to currently used Cape size bulkers). The Brasil Maru also adopts double-hull fuel tanks, an engine that meets International Marine Organization (IMO) exhaust emission standards, and the energy saving Mitsui Integrated Propeller Boss (MIPB).
The Brasil Maru is the third generation ship to bear the name, succeeding the first-generation cargo and passenger liner Brasil Maru (built in 1939) and the second-generation cargo and passenger liner Brazil Maru (built in 1954). This reflects MOL’s long history serving the Japan-South America route. The new third-generation ship carries the “Brasil Maru” name in Portuguese as an iron ore carrier directly linking Japan and Brazil, reflecting hopes for the continued growth of friendship between the two nations.