VESSEL REVIEW | Sunflower Murasaki – LNG-fuelled Ro-Pax delivered to Japan’s MOL

VESSEL REVIEW | Sunflower Murasaki – LNG-fuelled Ro-Pax delivered to Japan’s MOL


Japanese shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) recently took delivery of the second LNG-fuelled Ro-Pax ferry in a series built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

Sunflower Murasaki is being operated by MOL group company Ferry Sunflower. It will operate alongside earlier sister Sunflower Kurenai in serving the Osaka-Beppu route between Osaka and Oita Prefectures.


The newbuild has a length of 199 metres, a beam of 28 metres, a draught of 6.5 metres, a gross tonnage of 17,300, and space for 716 passengers and 137 lorries measuring 13 metres each. Loading and unloading of vehicle cargo are via starboard ramps at the bow and the stern.

Power is provided by a dual-fuel, four-stroke main engine that can run on either LNG or heavy fuel oil and that can deliver a service speed of 22.5 knots. MOL expects the use of LNG will reduce emissions of CO2 and SOx by about 25 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively.

Photo: MOL

The propulsion system also features an energy-saving device supplied by Naikai Zosen Corporation to further reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency. Two Yanmar 8EY26LDF 1,730kW dual-fuel engines supply power for the generators.

Photo: MOL

The passenger accommodation spaces include single cabins and suites with some spaces laid out for lorry drivers and others suitable for guests travelling with pets. The selection of amenities includes a cafe/lounge, a casual dining area, a three-deck atrium, a children’s play area, an infant care room, and a common bath area. Work on the interior spaces was done by Flux Design with the aim of providing passengers with a cruise ship-like atmosphere.

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 Murasaki
Type of vessel: Ro-Pax ferry
Flag: Japan
Owner: Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan
Operator: Ferry Sunflower, Japan
Builder: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Japan
Length overall: 199 metres
Beam: 28 metres
Draught: 6.5 metres
Gross tonnage: 17,300
Capacity: 137 lorries
Auxiliary engines: 2 x Yanmar 8EY26LDF, each 1,730 kW
Cruising speed: 22.5 knots
Other equipment installed: Naikai Zosen Corporation energy-saving system
Types of fuel: LNG; heavy fuel oil
Accommodation: Cabins; café/lounge; dining area; atrium; children’s play area; infant care room; common bath area
Passengers: 716
Operational areas: Osaka and Oita Prefectures, Japan

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