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Mitsubishi, Imbari Sign 'Green' Ship-Building Agreement

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

29 May 2012


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has announced the signing of a new collaboration agreement with Imabari Shipbuilding, Japan's largest shipbuilder, to deliver a new generation of energy-saving container carriers.

According to Mitsubishi, the initiative aims to combine MHI's technological capabilities in the development of energy-saving vessels, and Imabari's strong cost competitiveness, in order to establish an advantageous framework for competing in the international shipbuilding market. The two companies aim to develop vessels 20-30% more fuel-efficient than current industry models.

The three-year collaboration agreement, which can be extended upon discussion, encompasses the development and manufacture of all types of container carriers, without limitations.

Explaining the decision to partner with Imabari, a statement from Mitsubishi said:

"By effectively utilizing the shipyards of both companies, together MHI and Imabari will become capable of flexibly accommodating bulk orders - e.g. construction of multiple ships of the same design - thus strengthening and expanding their respective business for high-value-added container carriers."

"Given the current trend toward adoption of international marine transportation rules for reducing environmental burdens, coupled with continuing fuel price escalation, demand by shipowners for more energy-saving vessels is increasing significantly. In particular, many large container carriers are now powered by marine diesel engines using heavy oil fuel, which emits much more carbon dioxide than other fuel types."

In response MHI has developed various differentiating technologies to meet the needs of customers. These include technology enabling use of liquefied natural gas, which is more environmentally-friendly as fuel for a ship's propulsion system and the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS). MALS is MHI's proprietary technology that reduces frictional resistance between a vessel hull and seawater using air bubbles produced at the vessel bottom, thus achieving reductions in energy usage and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

To date MHI has built 147 container carriers in total (including vessels currently under construction). Imabari Shipbuilding is Japan's largest shipbuilder, both in newbuilding tonnage and shipbuilding sales.

TAGS: marine

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