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Energy-Saving Propeller Boss Cap Fins System Reaches Major Milestone

08-15-2011 12:50 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: Image Line Communications

Hub vortez disappears after the installation of PBCF

Hub vortez disappears after the installation of PBCF

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) and MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. (MOL Tech; President: Hidehiro Harada) today announced that the energy-saving Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), developed by MOL, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co., Ltd., and Mikado Japan, Ltd., and sold by MOL Tech, has now been ordered for 2,000 vessels worldwide.

The PBCF is an energy-saving device attached to the propellers of a vessel. It breaks up the hub vortex generated behind the rotating propeller, resulting in a decrease of more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year due to a 3-5% reduction in fuel consumption by a large-scale containership.

Research and development on the PBCF started in 1986, and sales began the following year. Since then an increasing number of shipowners, mainly in Japan, began to adopt the system. By 2006, the 19th year since the start of sales, the PBCF had been ordered for 1,000 vessels. Since then, it has gained worldwide recognition by vessel owners and operators, and the number of ships adopting it has doubled in just five years, reaching the 2,000 vessel milestone this year.

At the Second International Symposium on Marine Propulsors in Hamburg, Germany, in June 2011, BMT Defence Services Ltd. of U.K. presented a paper reporting on a before and after speed test using an Aframax tanker operated by a major firm, showing nearly 4% energy saving effect. This independent study once again brought the PBCF to the attention of the shipping industry and the public.

The MOL Group is promoting its next-generation vessel concept called Sempaku ISHIN, and the PBCF is one of its key technologies. Mandatory energy efficiency measures for international shipping were adopted at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) IMO environment meeting on July 15, 2011, and regulations on greenhouse gas emissions by the ocean shipping will make the PBCF even more valuable in the future. The MOL Group continues its research and development on various green technologies and promotes global environmental protection by helping reduce CO2 emissions from vessels.


MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. is an MOL Group trading company.
Its business covers a wide range of fields, including: sales of fuel and lubricants, various ship machinery, ship stores, ship parts, and telecommunication equipment; sales of land-based air conditioning equipment and industrial machinery and equipment; real estate agency and sales; and maintenance of the National Oil Storage Barges. Its environmental products include heat shield paint and energy-saving lighting fixtures in addition to PBCF. The company also markets safety-related products include scaffolding for inspection of bulk carrier cargo holds and maintenance operations.

Features of PBCF
1) 3-5% reduction in fuel consumption and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions
2) A reduction in propeller torque
3) Reduced vibration in the stern less underwater noise
4) Reduced rudder erosion
5) Installation is simple and straightforward, requiring only the removal of the propeller boss caps and replacement with the PBCF. No hull modification is needed.
6) The PBCF is an integral part of the propeller, with no other moving parts.
7) The PBCF system is custom made, with design optimized for the shape of the vessel’s propellers. Lead time is three to four months from order to delivery.
8) It is maintenance free after installation, requiring only inspection and polishing when the vessel is in drydock, and performance does not decline over time.

MOL is one of the world’s largest multi-modal transport companies, operating 861 vessels and employing a workforce in excess of 9,200 worldwide. MOL operates one of the largest and most diverse networks of liner and logistics services around the globe, including weekly Transpacific, Transatlantic, Americas and Asia-Europe services. Please visit the company’s website at

Image Line Communications Ltd
1A Zetland House
5-25 Scrutton Street

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MOL News Highlights for 2011
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