The Mitsubishi Air-Lubrication System (MALS), developed by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Corporation, is a technology designed to reduce the skin-friction resistance on the hull of a ship by sending air to the bottom of the hull to create a layer of air bubbles between the hull and seawater. Accelerating the development of innovative technologies to reduce CO2 emissions from vessels is essential to cope with rising fuel costs and improve the environment. The simplest way to reduce CO2 emissions from vessels is to reduce required power for propulsion, which is directly related to the vessels’ total resistance.
Based on Mitsubishi’s study of the principal theory, technical challenges, and practical engineering of MALS in both efficiency and commercial viability, the technology has expanded to many different vessel types, including bulk carriers, ferries, and cruise ships. The international shipping industry transports about 90% of global trade and is vital to the functioning of the global economy. Shipping is recognized as the most energy-efficient mode for transporting goods. However, the shipping industry also produces almost 3% of global CO2, which cannot be considered as having a negligible impact on the environment. MALS can reduce both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, contributing to economical efficiency for ship owners through cost reduction. MALS is one of the most innovative technologies in the long shipping history.