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Japan’s 1st coastal module carrier to transport offshore wind turbine foundation components

CG rendering of the first coastal module carrier

Posted on April 18, 2024

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that its group company MOL Drybulk Ltd. has signed a basic contract for marine transport with JFE Engineering Corporation, according to MOL’s release. In addition, MOL and Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co., Ltd. have concluded a contract for the construction of a new module carrier to be launched under the contract. This will be the first coastal module carrier in Japan to transport components for offshore wind turbine foundation components.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2026, and will then engage in the coastal transport of offshore wind turbine foundations from JFE Engineering’s manufacturing base in Kasaoka-shi, Okayama Prefecture to offshore wind turbine construction sites in Japan. In April, JFE Engineering began production of monopiles used to build the foundation for offshore wind power generation. MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd.  will operate the vessel under the management of MOL Drybulk.

The new ship will feature the latest design already proven effective in the European market. It will be equipped with a dynamic positioning system (DPS) and offer higher weather resistance than non-self-propelled barges, providing direct delivery of cargo to self-elevating platform (SEP) vessels at offshore wind power construction sites.

The module carrier has a flat deck so that it can directly load wind turbine components, such as monopiles, towers, blades, nacelles, and floating foundations, from the stern and sides of the vessel using multi-axle trucks and so on. As Japan’s offshore wind power generation progresses, demand for wind turbine components in domestic transport is expected to increase in a variety of scenarios. MOL Drybulk currently operates a 3,700-ton class module carrier on a time charter basis to transport onshore and offshore wind turbine components, plant cargo, marine equipment, and so on in waters off the coast of Asia. By leveraging its expertise in operating this module carrier, it will continue to meet customers’ marine transport needs.

The MOL Group will contribute to the realization of a net-zero emissions society in line with the MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2, by leveraging its accumulated experience and expertise in offshore wind power generation-related businesses.

An engineering company with global operations. Its main businesses include the construction and operation of social infrastructure, mainly in the environmental and energy fields, and the construction and fabrication of steel structures such as bridges and industrial machinery (turbines, engines, etc.).

A privately owned Chinese shipbuilder that designs, builds, and repairs containerships, multi-purpose vessels, tankers/chemical tankers, bulk carriers, and tugboats.

A self-propelled special heavy cargo carrier, with flat and wide decks, suitable for transporting large cargoes such as cranes, construction heavy equipment, oil field platforms, plant modules, wind power generation components, etc.


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