Mitsui, Ferry Sunflower to build first two Japanese LNG-fueled ferries

Image courtesy of MOL

Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its group company Ferry Sunflower have disclosed plans to construct the first two LNG-fueled ferries in Japan.

MOL plans to order the vessels, which will be named the Sunflower Kurenai and the Sunflower Murasaki, from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in December.

Ferry Sunflower will charter the ferries after delivery and launch them on its Osaka-Beppu route from the end of 2022 through the first half of 2023, as replacements for vessels currently in service.

The ferries will be equipped with high-performance dual-fuel engines and with the use of LNG fuel will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20 percent compared to current vessels, and almost eliminate sulfur oxides emissions.

MOL is also developing the “Ishin Next – MOL Smart Ship Project” technology for LNG-fueled vessels and establishing safe operation through development, construction, and operation these new ferries, and promoting the wider use of LNG fuel.

The project has been adopted for the FY2019 energy conservation rating system for coastal ships, a demonstration test program aimed at enhancing the operational efficiency of coastal ships backed by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

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