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Thursday, November 15, 2018 

NYK Group has unveiled a ground-breaking emission-free concept ship as part of the Japanese shipowner’s medium-term “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalisation and Green” management plan.

The NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 concept, the result of a collaborative design project with MTI and Elomtic, depicts a futuristic-looking pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) that requires 70% less power than a conventional vessel. This is achieved, say NYK Group, by remodelling the hull to decrease water friction, reduce hull weight and by adopting fuel cells for electric propulsion. Instead of fossil fuels, power for the ship would come from solar energy and hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources, all of which would lead to a reduction of CO2 by 100%

The weight of the hull is reduced by optimisation through a dynamic, mathematical design that uses lightweight materials for the superstructure. In addition, computer-controlled devices, such as gyro-stabilizers, are installed to provide active stability for the lightweight vessel hull.

An air-lubrication system effectively reduces the frictional resistance between the 200m long vessel’s bottom and the seawater by means of bubbles generated by supplying air to the vessel’s bottom. And automatic hull cleaning during port stays prevents any negative impact on vessel efficiency.

Finally, propulsion efficiency is increased by replacing conventional propellers with flapping foils that mimic the movements of dolphins.

Such a design would also make use of the so-called “digital twin” to provide for a reduced maintenance requirement. Use of this technology creates a carbon copy of vessel’s physical conditions to enable real-time analysis and monitoring from land-based offices. 

By applying the NYK Super Eco Ship 2050 concept to actual ships, NYK Group can more aggressively promote decarbonisation and sustainable development. In the mid- to long-term, NYK’s reduction targets for GHG emissions are 30% per ton-kilometre by 2030 compared with a 2015 base year, and 50% per ton-kilometre by 2050 compared with the same base year.

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