April 23 - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has signed a deal to buy four next generation car carriers, which will be delivered in 2017 and 2018.

MOL will name the car carriers the Flexie series, and the newbuilds have been developed with flexibility in mind. The number of decks has been increased from 12 to 14, and the number of liftable decks has been upped from two to six.
The new liftable decks will offer greater flexibility in accommodating vehicles of different heights, improving loading efficiency and meeting demand for more diversified vehicle transport.
MOL says the new car carriers will also be used to as part of its MOL Project and Heavy Cargo service.
Each 199.95 m long, 32.2 m broad vessel has a car carrying capacity of 6,800 standard passenger vehicles. They will be installed with an electronically-controlled diesel engine with low load optimisation (LLO) tuning by exhaust gas bypass (EGB) technology. Both will come equipped with waste heat energy recovery systems and power consumption reduction technology.
In addition, the vessels' hull form design has been improved, especially for low-speed range. Each has been optimised to reduce susceptibility to wind resistance, improving fuel efficiency and minimising the impact on the environment, says MOL.