TECHNOLOGY group Wärtsilä is to provide a complete LNG package, made up of engine, gearbox, and LNGPac storage, supply and control system for two new ferries being built on behalf of Ferry Sunflower, a subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The ships are being built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan and are to be the first LNG-fuelled ferries built in that nation.

The order with Wärtsilä was booked in the second quarter of 2020.

“Wärtsilä’s vast experience and know-how in LNG solutions for the marine sector is again recognised with this landmark order for the first Japanese built LNG-fuelled ferries,” said Wärtsilä Japan area sales manager Keisuke Yasutake.

“We are able to offer LNG-based products and systems having a proven design and high performance, with a strong reference list that supports our value proposition.”

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He said MOL was 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 Makoto Yamaguchi, general manager, Technical Division, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The about 200 metres long Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki are expected to be able to carry 763 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars at a speed of 22.5 knots.

They are set to start operations in 2023 on the Osaka – Beppu route.

Wärtsilä is said to have had “lengthy and strong relationships with both MOL and Mitsubishi”. Mitsubishi Shipyards, for example, has delivered ferries, LNG carriers, and a seismic research vessel all with Wärtsilä engines.

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