TOKYO — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Akimitsu Ashida) today announced that its joint research and development (R&D) project on antifouling paints for ship bottoms will be incorporated into a government-industry initiative aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. This is a technology development support program sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
MOL, Nippon Paint Co., Ltd., and Nippon Paint Marine Coatings Co., Ltd. are jointly promoting R&D on high-performance antifouling paints that improve vessels' fuel efficiency. This is a key element of MOL's CO2 reduction technology R&D initiative.
Details of the R&D projects are as follows:
Ships consume most of their fuel in overcoming the resistance when sailing. Reducing this resistance contributes directly to lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The drag of seawater over the vessel's wetted surface accounts for 50% to 80% of all resistance, including wind and wave resistance.
This R&D project aims to develop a super-slick antifouling paint for ship bottoms that will dramatically reduce fuel consumption. With the addition of a high-performance low-ablation additive, the paint will significantly reduce drag. MOL will verify the paint's effectiveness in CO2 reduction by applying it to its operated vessels and carefully analyzing its performance during voyages.
The paint used in the R&D project is expected to lower CO2 emissions 8% to 12% compared to conventional antifouling paints.
This R&D project is a step toward realization of MOL's vision for the vessels of the future, announced as "ISHIN-I (car carrier)" in September 2009 and "ISHIN-II (ferry)" in December 2009. MOL continues to work aggressively on R&D to reduce the environmental burden of its vessel operations.