Wärtsilä solutions chosen for first Japanese built LNG-fuelled ferries

Source: press release, 19 May 2020

The new MOL ferries will operate with the Wärtsilä 31DF engine running on LNG fuel – Wärtsilä will also supply the gearbox and the LNGPac, fuel storage, supply and control system (illustration: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines)
The new MOL ferries will operate with the Wärtsilä 31DF engine running on LNG fuel – Wärtsilä will also supply the gearbox and the LNGPac, fuel storage, supply and control system (illustration: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines)

The technology group Wärtsilä will provide a complete LNG package, comprising the Wärtsilä 31DF 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 (MOL). The ships are being built at Mitsubishi’s Shimonoseki shipyard in Japan and will be the first LNG-fuelled ferries to be built in Japan. The order with Wärtsilä was booked in the second quarter of 2020.

This newbuild project has been adopted for Japan’s energy conservation rating system for coastal ships, a demonstration test programme to enhance operational efficiency. 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, which were other key requirements in the specification.

“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. 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,” says Keisuke Yasutake, Area Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Japan.

“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,” says Makoto Yamaguchi, General Manager, Technical Division, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.

The about 200 metres long Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki will be capable of carrying approximately 763 passengers, 136 trucks and 100 passenger cars at a speed of 22.5 knots. They are scheduled to commence operations in 2023 on the Osaka-Beppu route.

Wärtsilä has 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.