In December 2007, the Brasil Maru (the third vessel to bear the name) joined the fleet of Mitsui O S K Lines Ltd (MOL) and Tamou Line SA. The ship is one of the largest iron ore carriers in the world, with a deadweight of 327,180t, and will be used for the transportation of bulk iron ore from Brazil to Japan under a long-term contract with the Nippon Steel Corporation. The annual transport volume will be about 1.4 million tons a year. In March 2008 the ship made its first delivery of iron ore from Brazil to Oita in Japan.
The ship was constructed at the Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Chiba yard and named and delivered on 7 December 2007. The ship’s maiden voyage was in January 2008.
MOL is the first Japanese shipping company to start using very large iron ore carriers and will have five similar ships in operation by August 2008 (50 more of similar design have been ordered across the world).
SHIP OF THE YEAR 2007
In June 2008, MOL announced that the Brasil Maru had been selected as the Ship of The Year for 2007 by The Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers. The ship was selected by the committee because the ship is a ‘pioneering vessel in reducing iron ore transport cost which will have a great effect on steel production’.
In addition, during construction ultrasonic impact treatment (UIT) welding technologies were used to double the resistance of welded areas to metal fatigue. The vessel’s design was consulted over for 18 months by Tamou and Mitsui before they had the right ideas and then they relied on the most advanced computer simulation to optimise environmental protection and safe operation for the vessel. The ship was constructed so that it offers high-performance course stability taking water flow into account, and also excellent manoeuvrability.
The length of the new vessel is 340m with a P-P length of 325m. It has a breadth of 60m, and a draft of 28.15m. The ship has a gross tonnage of 160,774t and an iron ore capacity of 327,180 tons. The main engine is a MITSUI-MAN B&W Diesel Engine 7S80MC-C 1 set with a power of 23,640kW at 66rpm, giving a top speed of 15kt.
The engine satisfies IMO exhaust gas standard and achieves fuel saving by introducing derating to enable an optimum operation at the most appropriate output. The generator engines also satisfy IMO environment standard. The vessel has a crew complement of 30 and is registered in Panama.
The ship’s design features allow it lower fuel consumption than would normally be expected for a ship of this size, such as a special hull form designed to give better propulsive performance.
There is also a high efficiency propeller and a Mitsui Integrated Propeller Boss, which is combined with a reaction rudder. Greater operational flexibility is achieved through mooring equipment suitable for loading at Brazil and a correct air draft for entry into Australian ports. The ship can also load and unload at multiple ports. The engine also surpasses IMO (International Marine Organisation) exhaust emission standards.
The fuel oil tank is of a double hull construction; in addition there is an electronically controlled oil supply system as the main engine cylinder oil supplier. The environmental burden per unit load is reduced by making the vessel larger thus reducing CO2 emissions by 20% compared to currently used bulk transport ships.