Press Information

MHI and NEC to Jointly Develop
"Energy Demand Forecast System for Ships,"
-- Enabling Energy Savings During Operations at Sea Based on Precise Projections --

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
NEC Corporation

Tokyo, November 11, 2013 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and NEC Corporation will collaborate in the development of an "Energy Demand Forecast System for Ships" applying NEC's big data analysis technologies to achieve energy savings during ship navigation. Plans call for MHI to begin marketing the system by the end of the 2014 fiscal year ending March 2015.

The Energy Demand Forecast System for Ships is to be jointly developed integrating MHI and NEC's respective technologies and knowhow. MHI is a major developer and builder of large ships of all kinds responding to a wide range of user needs. The company's vessels enjoy a solid reputation in the global market for their outstanding navigation performance and economic merits, and today MHI ships are making solid contributions to enhancing the efficiency of maritime goods distribution around the world. NEC is a world leader in big data analysis technologies. Today the company is promoting expansion of business making optimal use of its technologies in this area.

The new system will project future energy demand based on previously collected data relating to ships' energy consumption, weather patterns, ambient air temperature, time of day, etc. Its forecasting technology will use NEC's "heterogeneous mixture learning technologies"*1, which automatically detect massive patterns hidden in big data. Use of the system will enable control of the operating ratios of a ship's engine and power generators, as well as the number of units to be in operation, based on highly precise energy demand forecasts. The end result will be the achievement of energy savings during ship navigation, contributing to lower operating costs and reductions in environmental burdens.

MHI plans to propose the Energy Demand Forecast System for Ships, along with its independently developed "Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System" (MALS)*2 and other advanced environmental technologies, for application in new ship constructions and in existing vessels undergoing upgrading, aiming for orders expansion in both areas.

NEC intends to apply its energy demand forecast system employing heterogeneous mixture learning technologies to the company's "Building Energy Management System" (BEMS), etc. By continuously strengthening its analysis technologies and solutions related to big data, the company looks to contribute to new value creation for the customer.


1 Heterogeneous mixture learning technologies, developed at NEC's Central Research Laboratories, are technologies that automatically detect massive patterns hidden in big data, discover useful patterns, and automatically switch reference rules according to the analyzed data. Application of these technologies enables higher-precision prediction and anomaly detection from data in which patterns change according to different circumstances – a factor that has made analysis difficult using conventional machine learning, which locates and refers to only a single pattern.

2 The Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) is a proprietary MHI system in which air is blown from blowers installed at the ship's bottom, creating a layer of fine air bubbles that cover the vessel bottom like a carpet. This configuration reduces frictional resistance between the ship hull and seawater as the ship cruises, realizing energy savings and curbing CO2 emissions.