NYK pure car truck carrier, the Auriga Leader, weighing in at 60,213 gross tons, has been recognised as the ship of the year at the Lloyd's List Global Awards 2009 held recently in London.
The accolade is awarded to vessels that are said to have set over the past year a new benchmark in terms of design, innovation and efficiency.
The solar-power-assisted Auriga Leader, which is equipped with 328 solar panels, was used to experiment with propulsion systems that run in part on solar power. The systems have been jointly developed by NYK and Nippon Oil Corporation.
A statement issued by the Japanese shipping company said that "solar power was able to afford 0.05 per cent of the ship's propulsion power and one per cent of the electricity used for everyday onboard needs such as cabin lighting and kitchen work. This change will reduce fuel consumption and the consequent CO2 emission."