Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Launches Hybrid-Propulsion Ferry Kyoto
Mitsubishi Shipbuilding held a christening and launch ceremony May 13, 2021 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.
Operated by Meimon Taiyo Ferry, the ship 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.
Dubbed Ferry Kyoto, the new ship measures 195 x 27.8 m and is 20.3 m deep, with a 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," designed to evoke 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.