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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Receives Orders for Japan’s First Methanol-Fueled RORO Cargo Ships

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping Co., Ltd. (Aichi Prefecture) and Fukuju Shipping Co., Ltd. Shizuoka Prefecture) for Japan’s first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships(1). The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI’s proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

(1) Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ships are cargo ships equipped with a vehicle ramp like a ferry, allowing cargo loaded on cargo beds such as trucks and trailers to be loaded and unloaded on their own, and transported.
(2) Green methanol is a type of carbon-neutral fuel. It is a synthetic fuel made from sustainable biomass or captured CO2 and hydrogen produced from renewable energy.
Source: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

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