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Japan’s 1st Coastal Module Carrier to Revolutionize Offshore Wind Turbine Transport

(Koichi Hirata, President & CEO, MOL Drybulk and Atsuo Shikata, Excective Vice President, JFE Engineering Corporation)

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced the signing of a pivotal marine transport contract with JFE Engineering Corporation. This deal marks a significant milestone in Japan’s journey towards sustainable energy solutions.

MOL Drybulk Ltd., a subsidiary of MOL, inked the deal with JFE Engineering Corporation, a leading player in the engineering sector. As part of the agreement, MOL Drybulk will oversee the construction of a pioneering vessel, the first coastal module carrier in Japan. This vessel will be instrumental in ferrying crucial components for offshore wind turbine foundations.

The vessel is slated for delivery in the spring of 2026 and will serve as a vital link between JFE Engineering’s manufacturing hub in Kasaoka-shi, Okayama Prefecture, and various offshore wind turbine construction sites across Japan. With JFE Engineering already ramping up production of monopiles for offshore wind power generation, the timing couldn’t be more opportune.

Operated by MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd., a subsidiary of MOL Drybulk, the new module carrier will boast cutting-edge design features that have proven their efficacy in the European market. Equipped with a dynamic positioning system (DPS) and offering enhanced weather resistance, this vessel will ensure seamless cargo delivery to self-elevating platform (SEP) vessels at offshore wind power construction sites.

One of the distinguishing features of the module carrier is its flat deck, facilitating direct loading of wind turbine components from multiple angles. From monopiles and towers to blades, nacelles, and floating foundations, this vessel will accommodate diverse cargo with ease, utilizing multi-axle trucks and other specialized equipment.

As Japan accelerates its offshore wind power initiatives, the demand for efficient transport solutions for wind turbine components is poised to surge. Leveraging its extensive experience in marine transport, particularly in the Asian coastal waters, MOL Drybulk is well-positioned to meet this growing demand.

The collaboration between MOL and JFE Engineering represents a synergy of expertise aimed at driving sustainable energy development in Japan. By ushering in the era of coastal module carriers, this partnership promises to streamline logistics, bolstering the nation’s transition towards renewable energy sources.

As the maritime industry embraces innovation to address the challenges of climate change, initiatives like the Japan’s first coastal module carrier underscore the pivotal role of collaboration and forward-thinking in shaping a greener future.

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