VESSEL REVIEW | Sunflower Kurenai – LNG-fuelled ferry to serve Japan’s inter-island routes

VESSEL REVIEW | Sunflower Kurenai – LNG-fuelled ferry to serve Japan’s inter-island routes

Photo: Hk

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) recently placed the first Japanese-built and -owned LNG-fuelled Ro-Pax ferry into service.

Built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, the 17,300GT Sunflower Kurenai is being operated by MOL group company Ferry Sunflower. The newbuild measures 199 by 28 metres and can transport 716 passengers and 137 lorries measuring 13 metres each. Vehicles are loaded and unloaded via starboard side ramps located near the bow and the stern.

Photo: Hk

The onboard facilities consist of single cabins and suites in multiple classes including traditional Japanese-style rooms and cabins for passengers travelling with pets, a casual dining restaurant, a cafe/lounge, an atrium spanning three decks, a public bath area with outside windows, a children’s play area, and an infant care room.

Photo: MOL

MOL said the interior spaces have been configured to provide passengers with a cruise ship-style experience even as the ferry itself serves a regular scheduled point-to-point route. Work on the interior spaces was done by Flux Design.

Photo: MOL

The 8,800kW dual-fuel, four-stroke main engine can run on either LNG or heavy fuel oil. MOL expects the use of LNG will reduce emissions of CO2 and SOx by about 25 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively. The propulsion system, which can deliver a service speed of 22.5 knots via two controllable-pitch propellers, also features an energy saving device to further reduce the ferry’s CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency. This energy saving system was supplied by Naikai Zosen Corporation, which will also install a similar system on sister vessel Sunflower Murasaki.

Two additional Yanmar 8EY26LDF dual-fuel engines, each with a rated output of 1,730 kW, supply power for the vessel’s generators.

Sunflower Kurenai has already begun sailing on MOL’s Osaka-Beppu route between Osaka and Oita Prefectures. Sister vessel Sunflower Murasaki, which is nearing completion, is scheduled to be delivered later this year for service on the same route.

Photo: MOL

Click here to read other news stories, features, opinion articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Sunflower Kurenai
Type of vessel: Ro-Pax ferry
Classification: Japanese Government
Flag: Japan
Owner: Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan
Operator: Ferry Sunflower, Japan
Builder: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Japan
Length overall: 199 metres
Beam: 28 metres
Draught: 6.0 metres
Deadweight: 6,918
Gross tonnage: 17,300
Capacity: 137 lorries
Main engine: 8,800 kW
Propulsion: 2 x controllable-pitch propellers
Auxiliary engines: 2 x Yanmar 8EY26LDF, each 1,730 kW
Cruising speed: 22.5 knots
Other equipment installed: Naikai Zosen Corporation energy saving system
Interior designer: Flux Design
Types of fuel: LNG; heavy fuel oil
Accommodation: Cabins; restaurant; lounge; atrium; public bath; children’s play area; infant care room
Passengers: 716

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