MOL Launches Second LNG-Fuelled Ferry in Japan

Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) announced the launch of the "SUNFLOWER MURASAKI," the second LNG-fueled ferry in Japan. The vessel is owned by MOL and operated by the company's ferry subsidiary, "Sunflower."

With a passenger capacity of 716, the ferry can accommodate 137 standard-sized trucks and can reach a speed of up to 22.5 knots. This vessel offers more spacious and comfortable accommodations for truck drivers and larger public areas compared to the earlier ferries operated by the company.

The "SUNFLOWER MURASAKI" is a sister ship to the first LNG-fueled ferry in Japan, the "SUNFLOWER KURENAI," which began operation in January. The "SUNFLOWER KURENAI" has been operating in the Osaka-Beppu route between the Sunflower Ferry terminal and the Beppu International Tourist Port. Two more LNG-fueled ferries are expected to be delivered in 2025 to replace the current vessels operating on the Oarai-Tomakomai route.

MOL has set a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and is promoting the advancement of an LNG fuel supply system in Japan and overseas. Additionally, MOL is working on a project with partners to reduce methane slip emissions from LNG-powered vessels by improving the methane combustion process within the engines using catalysts. The oxidation catalyst system has already received Approval in Principle, and factory tests for the system will commence in the second half of 2023, followed by onboard trials in the second half of 2024.

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