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    Japan's MOL announces launch of third LNG-powered ferry


The ferry is set to be put into service early 2025. [Image: MOL]

by: Shardul Sharma

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Gas for Transport, News By Country, Japan

Japan's MOL announces launch of third LNG-powered ferry

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) will deploy its third LNG-powered ferry early next year, it said on April 11.

The vessel, named Sunflower Kamuy, is set to commence operations in early 2025, following its delivery in December 2024. The vessel is slated to enter service on the Oarai-Tomakomai route operated by MOL Sunflower. This is the first of two LNG-fuelled ferries MOL ordered at Naikai Zosen in February 2022. The second vessel is scheduled to enter service on the same route within 2025. 

With these additions, the MOL Group is set to operate a total of four LNG-fuelled ferries on east-west routes in Japan by 2025, joining the Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki, which entered service on the Osaka-Beppu route in 2023.

Sunflower Kamuy will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by about 35% compared to currently in-service vessels on the Hokkaido route by adopting various technologies in addition to LNG fuel, MOL said.

MOL has teamed up with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex) and Hokkaido Gas Co. for the supply of LNG fuel to two new building LNG-fuelled ferries that will enter service in 2025.