Equipment for first Japan-built LNG ferries

MOL ferryThe new MOL ferries will operate with the Wärtsilä 31DF engine running on LNG fuel. Photo: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Wärtsilä will provide an LNG package, comprising the Wärtsilä 31DF engine, gearbox, and LNGPac storage, supply and control system, for the first LNG-fuelled ferries to be built in Japan.

The two new LNG-fuelled ferries are being built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan for Ferry Sunflower, a subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL). Approximately 200m long, Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki are scheduled to commence operations in 2023 on the Osaka – Beppu route.

“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,” said Mr Makoto Yamaguchi, general manager, technical division, MOL.

The Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engine was chosen for these ferries specifically because of its very high efficiency. It also provides safe and continuous gas mode operation.

This newbuild project has been adopted for Japan’s energy conservation rating system for coastal ships, a demonstration test programme to enhance operational efficiency.

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