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Oh the Irony! Wind Power Carries Coal

Japanese shipping company Iino Lines and fellow Japanese coal- and hydro-based electricity generator J-Power are "doing their bit for the environment" by installing a rotor sail (wind propulsion auxiliary device) manufactured by Finland's Norsepower Oy on the Iino dedicated coal carrier Yodohime. These rotating sails use the wind to generate powerful thrust, resulting in reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by approximately 6–10% in combination with the navigation optimization system.

The 24-m high x 4-m diameter rotor sail, an innovative modernized version of the Flettner rotor, will be installed in Q3 of 2024. It uses the vessel’s electric power to rotate the cylinder-shaped rotors on the deck.

This is the second vessel for Iino Lines following a very large gas carrier (VLGC) to be equipped with the Norsepower Rotor SailsTM and the company will continue to actively promote initiatives for clean marine transport services in order to become carbon neutral in line with theme set out in the mid-term management plan, “The Adventure to Our Sustainable Future.”

This is the second time that J-Power has installed a wind propulsion auxiliary system on a dedicated coal carrier. J-Power will continue to take on the challenge of achieving carbon neutrality as set forth in its "Blue Mission 2050" in February 2021.

While any effort to reduce one's environmental footprint is commendable, it's nevertheless somewhat ironic that wind power is enabling fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas to be transported long distances across the ocean to be used in CO2-intensive power production. Japan in particular has over the last decade turned increasingly to fossil fuel power generation as many of its nuclear power plants remain shuttered in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Image: Iino Lines


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