Eco-friendly coal carrier named Ship of the Year

JULY 25, 2013 — Though coal may not be a particularly eco-friendly fuel, that doesn't mean that the ships that carry it can't be green.

Soyo, an NYK-owned coal carrier, has been selected as the 2012 Ship of the Year] by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE). An awards ceremony was held on July 25, and Mitsuhiko Sunouchi, the general manager of NYK's Technical Group was presented with the recognition by JASNAOE.

Mitsuhiko Sunouchi (third from left), GM of NYK's Technical Group, with award plaque

JASNAOE's Ship of the Year award has been presented every year since 1990 to a Japanese-built vessel that the society considers to be the most technically advanced, well-designed, and socially conscious. The NYK Group's cruise ship Crystal Harmony (current name: Asuka II) received the society's first "Ship of the Year" award in 1990, and NYK-Hinode Line Ltd.'s two module carriers Yamatai and Yamato were recognized with special awards in 2010.

Soyo was honored for its innovative air-lubrication system and its proven impact on CO2 reduction. This new air-lubrication system reduces CO2 emissions by taking some of the main engine scavenging air (combustion air) from the main engine's turbocharger and leading it to the vessel's bottom to reduce the frictional resistance between the vessel's bottom and the seawater. A system featuring this scavenging air bypass is expected to be effective in reducing CO2 on large vessels having deep drafts.

Yamatai and Yamato have similar air-lubrication systems, and were actually the world's first vessels involved in overseas transport to have such a system permanently installed. The NYK Group is currently looking to equip car carriers with this eco-friendly system.

The system was jointly developed by NYK, Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and the Monohakobi Technology Institute, an NYK Group company, in cooperation with the National Maritime Research Institute. System development was subsidized through Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's "Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2" project, among others.*

The NYK Group says it will continue to encourage initiatives that address climate change by striving to install this system on other types of vessels.

Soyo