Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group company, has signed a contract with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) to build Japan’s first two LNG-fueled ferries. The contract is being finalized a month after MOL expressed its intention to order the ships.
According to the contract, the vessels will be built at the Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works, with successive completion and handover scheduled for the end of 2022 to early 2023. The ferries will be about 199.9m long and 28.0m wide, with gross tonnage of approximately 17,300 tonnes. They will have a maximum prescribed capacity for 763 passengers and carrying capacity for around 136 13-meter trucks and 100 passenger cars. Ferry Sunflower Limited based in Oita, will the ferries on its Osaka-Beppu route.
The main power plant will be a dual-fuel engine, and will be able to operate on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and A‐type heavy oil, the first for a Japanese ferry. These engines are set to provide a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to existing vessels and eliminate sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. The carrying capacity for trucks has also been significantly increased compared to existing vessels, with an expanded driver’s lounge and more area per passenger.