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Wednesday, November 20, 2019 

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) group company Ferry Sunflower has unveiled plans to construct the first two LNG-fuelled ferries in Japan, provisionally named 'Sunflower Kurenai' and 'Sunflower Murasaki'.

The order for the ships is expected to be placed with Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in December. Ferry Sunflower will charter the ferries for operation on its Osaka-Beppu route from the end of 2022 through the first half of 2023, as replacements for vessels currently in service.

The 199.9m long ferries, of about 17,300gt, will be equipped with high-performance dual fuel engines which will be quieter than current vessels, ensuring smoother, more relaxing travel. The use of LNG fuel will achieve reduced CO2 emissions by 20% compared to current vessels, and virtually eliminate SOx emissions. They will be designed and operated according to MOL's 'Ishin Next - MOL Smart Ship Project', adopted for the FY2019 energy conservation rating system for coastal ships. This is a demonstration test programme aimed at enhancing operational efficiency of coastal vessels backed by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

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