MOL holds christening/launch ceremonies for Japan’s first LNG-powered ferry, Sunflower Kurenai


Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd. announced that on March 3, a naming and launching ceremony for the first of the first two LNG-powered ferries in Japan, ordered from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., was held at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works Enoura Plant, and the new ferry was named “Sunflower Kurenai” by Beppu City Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano. The vessel is expected to enter service on the Osaka-Beppu route, operated by Ferry Sunflower Co., Ltd. as an alternative to the ship currently in service in January 2023, after delivery by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

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 space 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. the “Casual Cruise Concept” is further improved on the new ship.

It will be Japan’s first ferry to adopt 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%.

MOL Group established “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.1” in June 2021 and has set itself the goal of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050. It promotes the wider adoption of LNG fuel through the development and advancing 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.

In the ferry sector, after 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. 2025. The group will develop technology for LNG-fueled 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 fuel. The MOL Group is united in its work to meet the needs of customers and society as a whole for a cleaner environment and the realization of a low and decarbonized society.


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