Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has received the highest award at the 2013 Nikkei Global Environmental Technology Awards, which are organized by Nikkei Inc. The award was presented in recognition of the NYK Group’s use of an energy-saving air-lubrication system for vessels.
The system was developed with Oshima Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (head office: Saikai City, Nagasaki Prefecture; president: Hiroshi Minami) and the Monohakobi Technology Institute (MTI) (head office: Tokyo; president: Makoto Igarashi), an NYK Group company.
The award was established in 1991 and is given to individuals and groups that have made outstanding contributions to environmental preservation by researching actual environmental conditions, conducting environmental assessments, and developing technology that strikes a balance between economic prosperity and environmental conservation. Work conducted includes observations on the ozone layer, marine pollution, restoration of ecosystems in forests, and recycling technology.
The awarded air-lubrication system effectively reduces CO2 emissions by use of bubbles generated by air released from the bottom of the vessel to lessen the frictional resistance between a vessel’s bottom and the seawater. Moreover, in 2010 a new air-lubrication system that features a blower that provides air to the vessel bottom, thus reducing friction between the vessel bottom and the sea, was co-developed with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and installed on two NYK Group module carriers. A system using the vessel’s scavenging air was additionally developed and installed on a new coal carrier at Oshima Shipbuilding in 2012, thus demonstrating the viability of a system for large vessels having deep drafts. In fact, a CO2 reduction of about 4 percent during sea passages at deep drafts, and about 8 percent at shallow drafts, has been confirmed.
The NYK Group will continue its efforts to develop an environmental approach that contributes to the betterment of the global environment and the achievement of a sustainable society by striving to install this system on other types of vessels.
The awards ceremony will be held in Tokyo on November 7.
Nikkei, October 22, 2013