MOL holds christening/launch ceremonies for Japan’s first LNG-powered ferry, Sunflower Kurenai; Scheduled to enter service on the Osaka-Beppu route in January 2023


TOKYO-Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President and CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) announced today that the 3rd of Marcha baptism and launch ceremony for the first of the from Japan first two LNG-powered ferries (Note 1), which were ordered with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (President: Toru Kitamura; Headquarters: Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi), took place in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works Enoura Plant (Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi Prefecture), and the new ferry was named “Sunflower Kurenai” by the Mayor of Beppu City. Yasuhiro Nagano.

The vessel is expected to enter service on the Osaka-Beppu route, operated by Sunflower Ferry Co., Ltd. (Chairman: MItsujiro Akasaka; Headquarters: Oita-shi, Oita Prefecture) as an alternative to the ship currently in service in January 2023after delivery of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

(Baptism/launch ceremonies)

Compared to ships in service, the new ferry will provide greater carrying capacity and greater convenience for transporting goods and passengers. In cargo transportation, it will greatly increase the number of trucks to be loaded and enlarge the driving room to provide a driver-friendly space. In addition, the floor area of ​​the large bathroom is doubled and the number of seats in the restaurant is increased by 1.5 times, while a spacious and open public area including a three-level atrium is newly created (Note 2). the ‘Casual Cruise Concept’ (Note 3) is further improved on the new ship.

It will be from Japan first ferry, adopting the eco-friendly specifications as it is equipped with a high-performance dual-fuel engine, which can run on both LNG and heavy fuel oil. In addition, LNG is expected to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 25% and sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by almost 100%.

the MOL Group established the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1” (Note 4) by June 2021and has set the goal of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050. It promotes the wider adoption of LNG fuel through the development and advancement of an LNG fuel supply system in Japan and abroad. It also plans to launch around 90 LNG-powered ships by 2030 as part of an initiative to introduce clean alternative fuels (Fig.1). In the Ferry business, following the Sunflower Kurenai and the second Sunflower Murasaki, two state-of-the-art LNG-powered ferries are expected to be built to replace the ferries in service on the Oarai-Tomakomai route operated by MOL Ferry Co., Ltd. (President: Naotoshi Omoto; Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) in 2025 (Note 5). The group will develop technology for LNG-fuelled vessels and safe operation through the development, construction and operation of new ferries, and will take an active stance to promote the use of LNG as fuel. the MOL Group is united to work to meet the needs of customers and society as a whole for a cleaner environment and the achievement of a low and decarbonized society.

[Comparison with ferries in service]


(Newbuilding) 	Ivory/Cobalt

(In service)

Passenger capacity 	716 	710
Truck loading capacity (Units) (converted to 13m) 	137 	92
Speed 	22.5 knots 	22.4 knots
LOA 	199.9m 	153.0m
Gross tonnage 	About 17,300 tons 	9,245 tons

(Note 1)

Please refer to the corresponding press release.

November 20, 2019: MOL Group to build Japan’s first LNG ferries: Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki

(Note 2)

For details of the vessel, please refer to the following “Sunflower Ferry” website.

(Note 3)

The basic concept of MOL Group the ferry activity, which allows passengers to enjoy a quality cruise in complete relaxation with regular routes and schedules.

(Note 4)

MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1

(Note 5)

Please refer to the corresponding press release.

February 17, 2022:


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