APRIL 8, 2016 — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) says that its next generation FLEXIE car carriers will have a rounded bow shape that will minimize wind resistance and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 2% compared to today's car carriers.
MOL has four of the 6,800 car capacity FLEXIE carriers on order at Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for deliveries in 2017 and 2018 (see earlier story). The name FLEXIE is a reference to the ships' greater loading versatility than current car carriers in MOL's, with the number of decks increased from 12 to 14 and the number of liftable decks being increased from two to six.
The new rounded bow shape is the result of joint research by MOL, MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc. and is the latest in a number of wind resistance-reducing measures pioneered by MOL. The company is participating in the "Wind Challenger Project," promoting research and development on ways to cut wind resistance and utilize wind to help propel the merchant ships of the future. The innovative bow design now being introduced today is a result of those efforts.