Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shipping Line Announce Concept Plans For Low Emission Freight Ferry

Mitsui OSK present their Vision of Future Cargo and Passenger Transport Vessels
Shipping News Feature

ROTTERDAM – Today Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) unveiled their plans to develop a more environmentally friendly ferry for which much of the technology is already readily available. The new ship, provisionally entitled ISHIN – II follows our story in September outlining details of ISHIN – I, the proposed RoRo car carrier development.

The new ship design will employ liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel, powering its main engine which will produce around 20% less CO2 than a normal vessel. Both Nitrous and Sulphur Oxide levels will also be cut and particulate matter emitted will fall drastically, by about 90% or more compared with a ship using conventional fuel oil.

Excess electricity produced by the running engine and by solar panels will be transferred to Lithium Ion batteries which will supply all the vessels electrical needs whilst moored. The now familiar concept of twin propellers, mounted in line but counter revolving will drive the ships with the rear prop absorbing the rotational energy of the forward one thrust efficiency is maximised. Further propeller technology advances ensures even more thrust and the hull will be lubricated with an airflow of minute bubbles whilst in motion. This air curtain reduces friction drag between water and hull and much of the air is then collected and re-circulated.

Coupled with the latest hull design shape and the low friction coating employed on the hull surface in which micro indentations trap water and further lower the friction (like the dimples on a golf ball use the air to free up passage through it) the new ships are destined to mark a major step toward a cleaner marine transport environment.

Separate car and commercial cargo ramps and redesigned ship controlled IT systems to ensure optimum load/unload times and a smaller, low vibration power unit, coupled with arresting excess heat from the exhaust gases for reuse should make this new MOL project appeal to freight professionals, passengers and the green lobby alike.

Pic: MOL Vessel Operation Simulator