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    Japan's MOL puts LNG-fuelled ferry into service


MOL said this is the first LNG-fuelled ferry in Japan. [Image: MOL]

by: Shardul Sharma

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Asia/Oceania, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Security of Supply, Corporate, Gas for Transport, News By Country, Japan

Japan's MOL puts LNG-fuelled ferry into service

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines' (MOL) first LNG-fuelled ferry, Sunflower Kurenai, entered service on January 13, the company said on January 16.

Owned by MOL and operated by its group company Ferry Sunflower Co., Sunflower Kurenai is the also the first LNG-fuelled ferry in Japan, the company said.  The ferry serves the Osaka-Beppu route between the Sunflower Ferry terminal in Osaka Prefecture and Beppu International Tourist Port in Oita Prefecture as a replacement for the ferry Sunflower Ivory.


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“It is Japan's first ferry to adopt the latest environmental-friendly specifications including a high-performance dual-fuel engine, which can run on both LNG and heavy fuel oil,” MOL said. “The use of LNG fuel is expected to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by about 25%, and sulfur oxide (SOx) by virtually 100%.”

The MOL Group has set the target to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and is promoting the wider adoption of LNG fuel through the development and advancement of an LNG fuel supply system in Japan and overseas.

In the ferry business, MOL has already ordered four LNG-fuelled ferries, including Sunflower Kurenai. Following the commissioning of Sunflower Kurenai and the Sunflower Murasaki, the first and second LNG-fuelled vessels operated by Ferry Sunflower, the plan is to put the other two ferries into service in 2025.

MOL earlier this month 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.