Technology group Wärtsilä is to supply LNG-fuelled engines, gearboxes, gas storage, supply and control systems for the first LNG-powered ferries to be built in Japan. The two vessels are to be constructed for Ferry Sunflower, a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines subsidiary, and will be deployed on the route between Osaka and Beppu when they are delivered in 2023.
The 200m-long Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki will have capacity for about 760 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars and will have a service speed of 22.5 knots. Wärtsilä 31DF engines have been chosen for the ships because of their high efficiency and continuous gas mode operation capability, according to a Wärtsilä statement.
Makoto Yamaguchi, general manager, Technical Division at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, commented: “MOL is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its business activities and these two ferries are being built in line with that objective. By operating on LNG, they will have a greatly reduced carbon footprint and the high-performance Wärtsilä engine fits our requirements perfectly.” The order with Wärtsilä was booked in the second quarter of 2020.