Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. announced that Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF), sold by its group company MOL Techno-Trade, Ltd. (MOL Tech; President: Hirokazu Hatta; Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), has been certified as “Best-selling Energy-Saving Ship Appendage Brand (Cumulative)”, by Guinness World Records (Note 1), and awarded the official certificate on December 23, 2021.
PBCF was co-developed by MOL, West Japan Fluid Engineering Laboratory Co., Ltd., and Nakashima Propeller Co., Ltd. (called Mikado Propeller Co., Ltd. at the time) in 1986, and was offered for sale by MOL in 1987. In 2000, sales operations were transferred to MOL Tech, which sold the PBCF.
It was the world’s first device to be marketed to harvest the energy lost in the vortex that forms behind a spinning propeller and increase thrust by breaking that vortex. The analysis showed that equipping a vessel with PBCF leads to energy savings of 3% to 5%.
Since its introduction, as owners and operators in Japan and around the world have recognized the performance of the device, sales have increased steadily. Orders reached 1,000 in 2006, 2,000 in 2011, and exceeded 3,000 in 2015. In 2017, based on the joint research results of MOL Tech, MOL and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc., an improved PBCF, offering new improvements in energy- saving (Note 2), went to market.
In 2021, the cumulative sales of PBCFs exceeded 3,800 (the number of vessels fitted with PBCFs exceeded 3,600). Even now, some 35 years after its launch, PBCF still sells exceptionally well as an energy-saving device for ships and has established itself as a best-seller.
The installation of PBCF improves energy efficiency, which reduces CO2 emissions from ships, thereby reducing the environmental impact of shipping (Note 3). MOL Tech has calculated that the expanded use of PBCF has contributed to a cumulative reduction of 46 million tonnes of CO2 emissions worldwide.
The MOL group continues to study hybrid combinations with other energy saving devices such as the stern fin, duct and rudder bulb and has confirmed the synergistic effects in tests using a model. PBCF continues to evolve every day as the MOL Group harnesses this reliable technology, backed by approximately 35 years of refinement and accumulated expertise, to further improve propeller efficiency.
PBCF installed on a propeller
MOL Group aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, as stated in “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1”. The group is moving forward with initiatives on “Improving Energy Saving Technologies” by leveraging marine knowledge and technologies accumulated over its more than 130 years of history, including this PBCF project , and contributes to improving the energy efficiency of ships and reducing the environmental impact.
(Note 1) A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the top-selling energy-saving vessel appendage brand (cumulative) is based on the cumulative 3,748 PBCFs sold (the sales record with 3,516 vessels, including twin-screw vessels equipped with PBCF) at the end of December 2020.
(Note 2) Please refer to the press release of May 19, 2017:
MOL to Launch Sales of Redesigned and Refined PBCF – Meeting Higher Environmental Protection Needs by Further Improving Energy Saving Performance –
(Note 3) Please refer to the press release dated June 12, 2020:
Propeller Boss Cap Fins (PBCF) Wins Environmental Technology Award from Japan Association for Logistics and Transportation – 3%-5% Energy Saving Reduces Environmental Impact of Merchant Ships –
Source: Mitsui OSK Lines