Japanese shipyard Japan Marine United (JMU) has put Sunflower Furano, a new ferry being built for compatriot ferry operator MOL Ferry, part of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), through its paces during sea trials.
The newbuilding will replace a ferry having the same name which is currently in service.
Sunflower Furano is scheduled to start its maiden voyage on May 13, 2017, sailing from Oarai Port to Tomakomai Port.
The ferry is the first of two 14,000 gross-ton eco ships ordered from JMU by MOL in 2014. The vessels will connect the country’s islands of Honshu and Hokkaido via the Oarai-Tomakomai route.
Each of the two vessels will feature a length of 199.7 meters and a width of 27.2 meters. In addition, each of the ships will be able to accommodate 590 passengers, 160 large trucks and 100 cars.
The ferries will be able to reach a speed of up to 24 knots and will have contra-rotating propellers (CRP) and an optimized hull form to reduce fuel consumption and cut the transit time by over an hour.
The second vessel is expected to enter service in August this year, according to the company’s data.