MOL bunkers Japan’s first LNG-powered ferry ahead of trial

Shipping giant MOL has bunkered Japan’s first LNG-fueled ferry, Sunflower Kurenai, to prepare it for trial operation ahead of the launch of the vessel’s commercial service in January.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, built both Sunflower Kurenai and its sister vessel Sunflower Murasaki.

MOL’s firm Ferry Sunflower will use these vessels on its Osaka-Beppu route.

According to a MOL statement issued on Thursday, Ferry Sunflower joined forces with Kyushu Electric Power to complete a truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operation to fuel Sunflower Kurenai.

The ferry received its first LNG fuel supply from four trucks at the Port of Beppu in Oita Prefecture from Kyushu Electric or Kyuden.

Unlike a conventional method of receiving LNG fuel supply by connecting a single tank truck to LNG-fueled vessels, the use of the skid enables the ferry to receive the fuel from four tank trucks simultaneously, speeding up the process, MOL said.

The LNG fuel supplied this time would be used for the trial operation ahead of the launch of commercial service.

MOL said that the ferry would start commercial service from Osaka to Beppu on January 13, 2023.

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