As part of its efforts to cut emissions in the shipping company’s domestic operations, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines announced the beginning of commercial service for the first LNG-fueled ferry in Japan.
They are currently developing four dual-fuel vessels that will run on LNG to participate in the expanding global acceptance of LNG, including in the passenger and ferry segments.
The 17,300-ton Sunflower Kurenai, used by the Sunflower Ferry Company of the MOL Group, was delivered in late 2022, and testing got underway before commercial operations on January 13.
The Sunflower Ivory, a 25-year-old conventional ferry, is being replaced by the ferry on the Osaka-Beppu route.
The new ship features dual-fuel systems, is roughly twice as big as the earlier ferry, and offers passengers greater levels of luxury and facilities on the excursions, which last around 12 hours.
MOL plans to collaborate with Mitsubishi Shipyard to construct the ferries in 2019. The ship is 656 feet long and was launched in March 2022.
On the new ships, passenger capacity marginally increased from 710 to 716, but truck loading capacity was dramatically enhanced from 92 to 137 units. The boat travels at a 22.5-knot speed.
The new ferry provides more convenience for transporting passengers and freight than older ferries.
It has a bigger capacity to load trucks for freight transportation and offers a larger, more comfortable space for truck drivers. In addition, the restaurant’s seating capacity has increased by 1.5 times, and its open, roomy public areas feature a three-deck atrium.
The new ferries will receive LNG during stops at the Port of Beppu thanks to a unique fueling technique the business is utilizing for them.
Using a skid that joins four tank trucks to the ferry, the fuel is loaded by truck-to-ship onto the vehicle.
The skid allows the ferry to simultaneously accept LNG fuel from four tank trucks, which speeds up the procedure compared to the traditional way of obtaining LNG fuel supply by connecting a single tank truck to LNG-fueled ferries.
The Sunflower Murasaki, Ferry Sunflower’s second LNG-fueled ship after the Sunflower Kurenai, is scheduled to begin operations in April 2023.
Additionally, the business intends to construct two cutting-edge, LNG-fueled ferries with a combined capacity of 15,600 tons and bring them into service in 2025 to replace the ones MOL Ferry Company presently uses on the Oarai-Tomakomai route.
Naikai Zosen was contracted in February 2022 to construct these boats.