MOL teams up with Japex, Hokkaido Gas for LNG bunkering
Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (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, it said on January 6.
MOL has signed separate agreements with Japex and Hokkaido Gas for the supply of LNG to the two ferries in each port on the Oarai-Tomakomai route operated by MOL Group company MOL Ferry.
The LNG fuel supply is scheduled to start in 2025 when the ferries will enter service. Japex will supply LNG to the ferries at the Port of Oarai in Ibaraki Prefecture, and Hokkaido Gas will supply it at the Port of Tomakomai in Hokkaido through the truck-to-ship method.
The LNG supply system uses a skid that connects the vessel to four tanker trucks simultaneously, MOL said. This speeds up the bunkering process, allowing the ferries to take on sufficient fuel even during their limited time in berth.
MOL had in February 2022 signed a deal with Japanese shipbuilder Naikai Zosen Corporation to build the two ferries. The vessels are slated for delivery in 2025 and will replace two vessels that MOL Ferry currently operates on the Oarai-Tomakomai route.
MOL is currently building Japan's first two LNG-fueled ferries, Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki, with the former expected to enter service this month.