LNG ferries an 'evolution in cruising'

Mitsubishi is to build two LNG ferries for MOL Photo: MHI Mitsubishi is to build two LNG ferries for MOL Photo: MHI

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. has concluded a contract with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) to build two LNG-fuelled ferries, the first such project in Japan.

The vessels will be built at the Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works, with completion and handover scheduled for the end of 2022 to early 2023. Ferry Sunflower Ltd based in Oita, will operate the ferries on its Osaka-Beppu route.

The 200m ferries, with gross tonnage of around 17,300 tonnes, will have capacity for 763 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars. The main power plant will be a dual-fuel engine able to operate on both LNG and A‐type heavy oil, the first for a Japanese ferry. The engines will achieve a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to existing vessels as well as virtually eliminating SOx emissions.

Carrying capacity for trucks has also been significantly increased compared to existing vessels with an expanded driver's lounge and more area per passenger. The ferries aim to represent an 'evolution in casual cruising', with open public spaces including an expanded bar and restaurant and an atrium extending through three floors.

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