On July 1, Auriga Leader (60,213 gross tons), which is a solar-power-assisted car carrier, arrived at Long Beach port in California for the first time. The vessel was jointly developed by NYK and Nippon Oil Corporation (head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; president: Shinji Nishio), and its construction completed on December 19, 2008. This is the first call for Auriga Leader to visit the port, and it was welcomed by Long Beach port authority members and related parties. As the Port of Long Beach proactively tackles environmental issues, the world’s first solar-power-assisted vessel was the focus of heavy attention by media and related parties.
At the introduction party hosted by NYK on the same day, the mechanism of solar power system was explained and a reception was held to mark the occasion with a commemorative plaque for the ship’s first port call. At the party, some 70 people, including Mario Cordero, President of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, Richard D. Steinke, Port of Long Beach ExecutiveDirector, and members of Toyota Motor Corporation—the cargo owner of the ship for the voyage—were in attendance. Executive Director Steinke highly regarded the vessel’s experiment by saying: “The Auriga Leader is a perfect example of how the maritime industry is voluntarily finding new and innovative ways to be responsible stewards of the environment.”
The vessel is raising interest not only in the U.S., but also within the European maritime industry. It is listed as one of three finalists for “Ship of the Year” in the Global Awards 2009 by world-renowned maritime newspaper, Lloyd’s List.
Auriga Leader is presently involved in experiments to verify that its solar electric power supply can be maintained in the harsh conditions of actual navigation. After approximately two years of examination, NYK plans to apply a full-fledged, practical-use solar-power-assisted vessel, based on the results of the experiments.
NYK will proactively take initiatives for environmental issues through further technological innovation.
Particulars of Auriga Leader
Length Overall: 199.99 meters
Breadth: 32.26 meters
Depth: 34.52 meters
Capacity: 6,200 cars
Deadweight Tonnage: 18,758 tons
Gross Tonnage: 60,213 tons
Builder: Kobe Shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.