MOL Completes Hybrid Car Carrier, Orders LNG Pair

Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced Friday the completion of the world’s first hybrid car carrier expected to achieve zero emissions while berthed, and at the same time revealed plans construct a pair of LNG carriers following a long-term charter deal with Kansai Electric Power.

Hybrid Car Carrier “Emerald Ace”

Emeral Ace Car Carrier

On Friday, MOL said that the construction of the hybrid car carrier, Emerald Ace, has been completed at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  The Emerald Ace electric power supply system combines a 160kW solar powered system along with lithium-ion batteries that can store some 2.2MWh of electricity to achieve zero emissions while berthed.

The system on the Emerald Ace generates electricity through solar panels while the vessel is under way and stores the power in the lithium-ion batteries.  When berthed, the diesel-powered generator can be completely shut down while energy stored in its batteries provide 100% of the electricity needed.

The vessel’s hybrid system represents a significant step forward in realizing ISHIN-I, the concept for the next-generation car carrier that MOL announced in September 2009.

LNG Carriers

As gCaptain reported previously, MOL has also announced plans for the construction of the two LNG carriers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) with expected delivery slated for 2016 and 2017, respectfully, where they will enter into service transporting LNG for Kansai Electric Power.

The first vessel will be Moss-type carrier based on a new design by KHI with a tank capacity of 164,700m3. The ship will be the largest ship in its class that can pass through the expanded Panama Canal which is scheduled for completion in 2014, while still maintaining a hull size allowing it to call at major LNG terminals around the world.

The second vessel has a 155,300m3 tank capacity, and is one of the Sayaendo series carriers developed by MHI featuring a continuous cover over its four Moss-type spherical tanks. The peapod-shaped continuous cover is integrated with the ship’s hull, translating to a reduced weight that will increase fuel efficiency while still maintaining overall hull rigidity.

Both vessels adopt a new steam turbine engine that reuses steam for heating, further reducing fuel consumption. They also feature an advanced heat insulation system that offers the lowest LNG vaporization rate – 0.08% – of any LNG carrier in the world. Its environment-friendly, economically-advanced design also effectively controls surplus boil-off gas.

Both announcements today are in line with MOL’s midterm management plan, called  “GEAR UP! MOL”, which offers “transport solutions with a lower environmental burden”and targets a 10% reduction of CO2 emissions per ton-mile from 2009 levels by 2015.