MOL Drybulk, a subsidiary of Mitsui O.SK. Lines (MOL), has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with sustainable wood bioenergy producer Enviva to deploy an environmentally-friendly bulk carrier to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the woody biomass supply chain.

The MoU was signed following the joint study phase to deploy the eco-friendly bulk carrier targeting reduced GHG emissions in the ocean transportation of sustainable wood pellets and biofuels.

The 62,900 dwt vessel will be built by Oshima Shipbuilding and is scheduled for launch in 2024.

As disclosed, the vessel will utilise rotor sail technology developed by Anemoi Marine Technologies together with MOL’s Wind Challenger technology, which would both reduce emissions by harnessing wind energy, for an expected average GHG savings of about 20% in total.

The first Wind Challenger is scheduled to be released in the second half of this year. The system converts wind energy to propulsive force with a telescopic hard sail.

The long-term goal of the project is to develop a widely accepted shipping solution to achieve the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) target in combination with other measures to reduce GHG by equipping vessels with multiple sails.

Commenting on the MoU, Thomas Meth, CCO of Enviva, said: “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain is a foremost priority for us. While we have made progress in reducing our operations’ CO2 footprint, there are more innovative opportunities like the one we are partnering on with MOLDB to continue to strive for more circular approaches in our supply chain.”

Kazuhiko Kikuchi, president and representative director of MOL Drybulk (MOLDB), added: “We are very happy to make this announcement today alongside our long-term partner, Enviva. Their support and commitment to this project are invaluable. The purpose of launching MOLDB is to become a team of professionals in the dry bulk business, work closely with our customers to meet their needs and provide solutions.”

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