TOKYO, May 13, 2021 – (JCN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group based in Yokohama, held a christening and launch ceremony today (May 13th) for the first of two large ferries being built for Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) and Meimon Taiyo Ferry Co., Ltd. The ceremony took place at the Enoura Plant at MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The handover is scheduled for December 2021 following completion of interior work and sea trial. The new vessel will replace the FERRY KYOTO II, in operation since 2002, and enter service from December 2021 on a regular route between Osaka and Shinmoji in Kitakyushu.
The new vessel, built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding and operated by Meimon Taiyo Ferry, is jointly owned by Meimon Taiyo Ferry and JRTT, an Incorporated Administrative Agency to support the provision and maintenance of transport facilities and other infrastructure based on Japan’s transport policy. Named FERRY KYOTO, the new ship is 195m long, 27.8m wide, and 20.3m deep, with gross tonnage of approximately 15,400. The largest ship ever operated by Meimon Taiyo Ferry, the vessel has passenger capacity for 675 persons, and vehicle capacity for approximately 162 12-meter trucks and 140 passenger cars. The interior design concept is “atmosphere of an ancient city,” evoking a feeling of Japan. The broad public space taking advantage of the vessel’s large size, along with a spacious restaurant, bath, and lounge with sweeping views, allow for cruising in comfort. The space can also be efficiency utilized to provide improved service, such as converting vehicle storage space into a passenger deckand eliminating Japanese style passenger cabins to create cabins with beds.
The propulsion plant utilizes a hybrid-type azimuth propulsion assist method, which combined with an air lubrication system achieves considerable energy efficiency (approximately 35% reduction in fuel consumption for carrying a large truck compared to existing vessels), and improved ship steering capabilities. In addition, along with lower CO2 emissions realized from energy efficiency, the adoption of a hybrid-type scrubber curbs atmospheric emissions of sulfur oxide (SOx), providing for environment-friendly operation.
Currently, shipping in Japan is undergoing a modal shift(1) to marine transport from the standpoint of reducing CO2 emissions in land transport, a shortage of long-haul drivers, and working style reforms. Accordingly, demand is rising for ferries and RORO ships(2), and larger vessels. Going forward, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will continue to construct ferries and passenger/cargo ships that offer superlative fuel efficiency and environmental performance and contribute to reliable transport, in order to help resolve various issues together with its business partners, vitalize marine transport, and contribute to environmental protection.
(1) The shift in cargo transport handled by trucks and other vehicles to trains and ships, which have a lower environmental load.
(2) A Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) ship allows trucks, trailers, and other vehicles to be loaded and unloaded under their own power in the carrier space for transport.
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