Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) on Tuesday (30 August) said it held naming and launching ceremonies for the second of Japan’s first two LNG-fueled ferries at the Enoura Plant of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works.
During the ceremonies, MOL Chairman Junichiro Ikeda named the vessel Sunflower Murasaki.
On hand for the rope-cutting honours was para-athlete Maya Nakanishi, who has ties to both Osaka and Oita Prefecture, homes to the ports the new ferry will serve.
The vessels were ordered from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
The vessel is a sister ship to the Sunflower Kurenai, which was named and launched in March of this year. After delivery from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding in March 2023, it is slated to enter service on the Osaka-Beppu route, as an alternative to the vessel currently in service, operated by Ferry Sunflower Co., Ltd.
Compared to the vessels currently in service, the new ferry will offer greater transport capacity and convenience for both cargo and passenger transport.
For additional passenger comfort and convenience, the new ferry features interconnecting passenger rooms, which will be a first for a long-distance ferry, and quietness will be improved to further enhance Sunflower Ferry’s “Casual Cruise Concept.”
MOL ordered two more LNG-fueled ferries following Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki. These vessels are slated to be launched on the Oarai-Tomakomai route, operated by MOL Ferry Co., Ltd. in 2025 as an alternative to ferries currently in service.
Photo credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
Published: 31 August, 2022
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