Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced plans to equip its next generation of very large crude carriers (VLCCs) with double-hull fuel tanks to reduce the risk of fuel leakage. MOL plans to introduce the technology on four VLCCs planned for launching in 2005, and continue adopting on newly built tankers in the future. The move is part of MOL’s ongoing effort to protect the marine environment, as set out in the MOL Group Corporate Principles. The entire MOL Group is committed to maintaining strict operating safety and navigation standards.
The double-hull structure incorporates an empty tank (it may be designed for use as a ballast water tank) located outside of the fuel tank. This reduces the risk of fuel leaking into the ocean, in case of grounding or a collision with another vessel damages the outer hull. MOL carefully studied the capacity and location of the fuel tank with both Mitsui Engineering Shipbuilding and Kawasaki Shipbuilding. The new design offers the same fuel capacity as conventional vessels, even with the empty space between the tank walls. In addition, the design allows the same cargo tank capacity as in conventional vessels.