On 3rd March, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) held a naming and launching ceremony for the first of two of Japan’s first LNG-fuelled ferry newbuildings.
They were ordered from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding’s Shimonoseki Shipyard and the first ferry was named ‘Sunflower Kurenai’.
She is due to enter service on the Osaka/Beppu route, operated by MOL subsidiary, Ferry Sunflower, as a replacement for the vessel currently serving the route when delivered in January, 2023.
Compared to the current vessels in service, the new ferry will offer greater capacity and convenience for both cargo and passenger transport. For freight, she will significantly increase the number of trucks able to be carried and expand the driver’s room to provide a driver-friendly space.
In addition, one of the the floor areas has been doubled and the number of seats in the restaurant was enlarged 1.5 times, while open public spaces include a three-layer atrium.
MOL’s ‘Casual Cruise Concept’ is further enhanced on the new vessel.
It will be Japan’s first ferry to adopt environmental-friendly specifications, as it is equipped with a high-performance dual-fuel engine, which can run on both LNG and HFO.