Japanese yard Mitsubishi Shipbuilding said it has now signed a final contract with Japanese shipping group Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) to build two ferries of 17,300gt using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel.
The vessels will be built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works, with delivery scheduled for the end of 2022 to early 2023. Ferry Sunflower Limited, based in Oita, will operate the ferries on its Osaka-Beppu route.
The ferries will be about 199.9m long and 28.0m wide. They will have capacity for 763 passengers, plus carrying capacity for around 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars. The main power plant will be a high-performance dual-fuel engine able to operate on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and A-type heavy oil, one of the first systems of its type for a Japanese ferry. These engines will provide good environmental performance, with a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to existing vessels and virtually eliminating sulphur oxide emissions, reducing the environmental load. Carrying capacity for trucks has also been significantly increased compared to existing vessels, with an expanded driver's lounge area and also more area per passenger generally. The ferries will meet the need for a modal shift in transport away from all-road transit and represent an evolution in casual cruising, with relaxed and open public spaces including an expanded bath and restaurant, and an atrium extending through three floors.
In the future, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding said will continue to construct passenger/cargo ships and expects demand for environmentally friendly vessels to increase.