This article was originally published via https://www.thedcn.com.au/.
SHOFU Maru, the bulk carrier fitted with a Wind Challenger hard sail, has been named ship of the year in Japan.
The Ship of the Year Awards, now in their 33rd year, aim to recognise “outstanding” vessels and offshore structures built in the last year. The latest round of awards looks ships and structures built in 2022.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ Shofu Maru is a 100,000-DWT coal carrier built to transport coal primarily between Australia, Indonesia and North America for Tohoku Electric Power Co.
The ship called Port of Newcastle for the first time last year on its maiden voyage from Japan.
“The vessel earned high marks for its significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by directly using wind power as a propulsion force,” MOL said.
It also earned marks for the development and implementation of ancillary equipment such as an automated control system and a weather routing system that suggests the best route for the vessel.
Shofu Maru was not the only MOL vessel recognised at the awards; its LNG-fuelled ferry Sunflower Kurenai received the Large Passenger Ship Sector award.
“The Sunflower Kurenai is Japan’s first LNG-fuelled ferry, which reduces environmental impact and furthers Japan’s efforts toward a modal shift in cargo transport,” MOL said.
“In particular, the vessel was highly regarded for its stable LNG-fuelled operation, which not only reduces GHG emissions, but also contributes to the reduction of environmental impact in coastal and port waters, and for its contributions to LNG infrastructure development, which has a limited track record in Japan.
“The fact that LNG fuelling was achieved on the familiar and historic Osaka-Beppu route was also recognised, not only for its immediate effects, but also for its role in raising awareness of the need to reduce environmental impact.”