APRIL 23, 2015 — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has signed a contract covering construction of four next-generation "FLEXIE" car carriers at Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. MOL and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co.,Ltd. are Minaminippon's main shareholders.
To be delivered in 2017 and 2018, the ships will serve on on MOL's worldwide car carrier services and will offer increased capacity and a new deck design for more flexible loading.
With a length of 199.95 m and breadth of 32.2 m they will have a capacity of 6,800 standard passenger vehicles.
The number of decks will be changed from the 12 in MOL's current fleet to 14, with the number of liftable decks being increased from two to six. This that means two adjustable decks can be placed between two fixed decks. The newly designed liftable decks will offer greater flexibility in accommodating vehicles of different heights, improving loading efficiency and meeting demand for more diversified vehicle transport.
The company says it will develop a global marketing effort to promote the flexibility of the new carriers in vehicle transportation service and to strengthen group-wide efforts to build awareness of the MOL Project & Heavy Cargo service.
The newly ordered car carriers will be installed with electronically-controlled diesel engine with Low Load Optimization (LLO) tuning by Exhaust Gas Bypass (EGB) technology. The ships will also adopt waste heat energy recovery system for generator engines and electric power consumption reduction technology. In addition, the vessels' hull form design will be improved, especially for low-speed range, based on ship performance analysis of existing carriers.
The ships will also take a step forward in wind-resistance reduction, a basic element of the Senpaku ISHIN project that MOL has been developing since 2009. The new ships' reduced susceptibility to wind resistance will improve fuel efficiency in comparison with existing vessels and significantly reduce their impact on the environment.