NOVEMBER 20, 2015 — Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) reports that group company Ferry Sunflower Limited is moving ahead with plans to construct two large-scale ROpax (roll-on/roll-off passenger) ferries.
The newbuilding ferries will be delivered in March and June of 2018 from shipbuilder Japan United Marine as replacements for the Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima, which serve on the route connecting Osaka Port (Osaka Prefecture) and Shibushi Port (Kagoshima Prefecture).
The 13,500 grt vessels will have a length of 192 m, breadth of 27 m and carry 709 passengers and 121 trucks.
The new ferries will feature private staterooms with toilets, showers, washbasins, and refrigerators and public space will be about 2.5 times more than on current ferries.
To help achieve the modal shift needed to take more of Japan's domestic transportation off congested highways, they will provide space for 16% more trucks than the current vessels.
The MOL Group includes two ferry companies.
Ferry Sunflower Limited operates three routes: between Kobe and Oita (Oita Prefecture), between Osaka and Beppu (Oita Prefecture) and between Osaka and Shibushi (Kagoshima Prefecture)
MOL Ferry Co., Ltd. operates the Oarai (Ibaraki Prefecture) – Tomakomai (Hokkaido) route and last year ordered two ROpax ferries from Japan Marine United that will replace the present ferries serving the route in 2017.