Low-friction coating on new MOL PCTC

09 Nov 2010
‘Neptune Ace’ is the first MOL vessel to be coated with low-friction hull paint

‘Neptune Ace’ is the first MOL vessel to be coated with low-friction hull paint

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) recently adopted the low-friction ship bottom paint named ‘LF-Sea’ developed by Nippon Paint Marine Coatings on a new building PCTC (Pure Car and Truck Carrier).

Reducing the friction drag is a very effective way to reduce CO2 emissions during vessel operation and MOL has taken a proactive stance in developing and adopting a low-friction ship bottom paint as part of its environmental initiatives. In sea trials of the 6,400 uspc (units of standard passenger cars) car carrier Neptune Ace, built by Minaminippon Shipbuilding in Japan and completed on 27 October, it was confirmed that the new coating improved fuel efficiency.

LF-Sea, developed by Nippon Paint Marine Coatings, uses a component called hydrogel, which is a naturally derived material. The hydrogel allows water to fill in small indentations on the hull to minimize friction drag. LF-Sea can realize about 4% reduction in fuel consumption compared to an identical vessel using conventional bottom paint.

MOL continues joint research and development on an ultra-high fuel efficient ship bottom paint with the aim of further CO2 reduction with Nippon Paint and Nippon Paint Marine Coatings. These companies will strive to further improve LF-Sea paint with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 8% to 12% compared to conventional anti-fouling paints. MOL believes the performance assessment on the new building PCTC will serve as a benchmark for the continuing development of an ultra-high efficient hull coating.

This R&D initiative is one of several subsidised by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s ‘support for technology development of marine vessels for curtailing CO2’ project.

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