Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd recently held the naming ceremony and launch of the first of two large ferries which have been built to tackle the over production of CO2 in land transportation. The ship was built for Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency and will be operated by Meimon Taiyo Ferry.

At 195m in length, 27.8m in width and with 20.3m in depth and a weight of 15,400 tonnes the new ship is the largest vessel ever operated by Meimon Taiyo Ferry. Named Ferry Kyoto, the ship has the capacity to hold 675 people, and approximately 162 12-meter tall trucks as well as 140 passenger cars.
Replacing the similarly named “Ferry Kyoto II", which has been in operation since 2002, Ferry Kyoto will serve as a transportation service between Osaka and Kitakyushu.

The naming ceremony and launch of Ferry Kyoto was held in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works Factory on 13 May 2021.
After undergoing the finishing manufacturing procedures and taking part in trial operation, the ship is expected to be completed and in fully functional service from December 2021.

Ferry Kyoto, and her sister ship which is yet to be named, were developed by Meimon Taiyo Ferry and the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency, as part of a project which supports the development of sustainable transportation services that will lead to a reduction in overall land-produced CO2.

Ever increasing CO2 emissions, a lack of experienced long-distance drivers and a change to working lifestyles has led to an increase in demand for larger transportation vessels. At the same time, companies like Mitsubishi Shipbuilding are continuing to work with business partners such as Meimon Taiyo Ferry to help revitalize maritime traffic with ferries and freighters that offer both excellent fuel efficiency and stable operation, alongside being environmentally friendly.

Ferry Kyoto and her sister ship both use a hybrid-type azimuth propulsion boosting system, which combined with the air lubrication system, can effectively reduce fuel consumption by 35% when in comparison to existing vessels. These systems also contribute to improved ship steering.
Additionally, the ships will utilise a hybrid-type scrubber, which will reduce overall sulfur oxides released into the air during operation.

Inside, the ship is designed with an interior that evokes nostalgia, featuring designs inspired by an ancient Japanese city aesthetic and appearance. In addition to the stylish interior, a more comfortable cruising experience is made possible due to the larger hull, which has allowed for a spacious restaurant, bathrooms and lounges with panoramic views.

The new ferry will begin service from December 2021, and will make journeys along the Shinmoji route between Osaka and Kitakyushu.

By - Connie Sceaphierde.