Mitsui OSK Lines has applied a new low-friction ship bottom paint on its latest pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) Neptune Ace in trials that have confirmed improvements in fuel efficiency.
The paint, which is called LF-Sea and was developed by Nippon Paint Marine Coatings, uses a component called hydrogel that allows water to fill in small indentations on the hull to minimise friction drag, which is responsible for resistance to movement in sea water.
MOL reports that LF-Sea can bring around 4% reduction in fuel consumption compared to an identical vessel using conventional bottom paint. Reducing the consumption of heavy fuel oil by 4% ensures a decrease in CO2 emissions at the same rate.
The Neptune Ace has a capacity for 6,400 standard passenger cars and was completed on October 27 by Minaminippon Shipbuilding Company.
MOL has said it will continue to work with Nippon Paint to further fuel efficiency with the LF-Sea product by between 8% and 12% compared to conventional anti-fouling paints. Performance assessment on the Neptune Ace will serve as a benchmark for the development on an ultra-high efficient ship bottom paint said the company in a statement.
This research initiative behind the latest initiative is one of several subsidised through the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as part of its "Support for Technology Development from Marine Vessels for Curtailing CO2" project.