Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and its subsidiary Ferry Sunflower Limited have unveiled plans to construct Japan’s first two LNG-fueled ferries.
MOL intends to order the 17,300 GT newbuilds from compatriot shipbuilder Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in December.
Ferry Sunflower will charter the ferries after their 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.
To be named Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki, the ferries will be quieter than current vessels, according to MOL. With a length of 199.9 meters and a speed of 22.5 knots, each ship will be able to accommodate 763 passengers.
In addition, they will be equipped with dual-fuel engines. The use of LNG fuel will achieve better environmental performance, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% compared to current vessels, and virtually eliminating sulfur oxides emissions, MOL explained.
The ferries also embody the environmental impact-reducing technology (Ishin II), which is part of the “Ishin Next – MOL Smart Ship Project”. MOL is developing the 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.