MOL joins forces with Japex and Hokkaido Gas to supply two LNG-powered ferries

Japan’s shipping giant MOL is teaming up with Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) and Hokkaido Gas to supply liquefied natural gas to two newbuilding LNG-fueled ferries.

In that regard, MOL signed basic agreements with Japex and Hokkaido Gas for supply of LNG fuel in each port on the Oarai-Tomakomai route operated by MOL’s unit MOL Ferry.

According to a statement by MOL, the new ferries should start receiving LNG fuel in 2025.

Japex will supply LNG fuel to the ferries at the Port of Oarai in Ibaraki Prefecture, and Hokkaido Gas will supply it at the Port of Tomakomai in Hokkaido respectively through the truck-to-ship method.

The LNG supply system uses a skid that connects the vessel to four tanker trucks simultaneously.

MOL noted that this speeds up the bunkering process, allowing the ferries to take on sufficient fuel even during their limited time in berth.

The firm did not reveal any additional details regarding the deals.

MOL placed an order at compatriot shipbuilder Naikai Zosen for these two additional LNG ferries in February this year, boosting the total to four ferries.

In December, MOL 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.

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