Press Release


Press Release

July 31, 2019

MOL Group Companies Earn 2 Awards in "Ship of the Year 2018"
-MOL Car Carrier Beluga Ace Receives Ship of the Year 2018, Ferry Sunflower's Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima Garner Large Passenger Ship Sector Award-

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) today announced that the Beluga Ace (Note 1), the first ship of its "FLEXIE series" next-generation car carriers, and both the Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima (Note 2) ferries, which are operated by its group company, Ferry Sunflower Limited (President: Mitsujiro Akasaka; Head Office: Oita-shi, Oita Prefecture), have received the "Ship of the Year 2018," and "Large Passenger Ship Sector Award," respectively. It marks double awarding for the group companies.

This is MOL's sixth Ship of the Year Award, and marks the second year in a row that MOL has received honor; its 20,000 TEU containership MOL Truth won for 2017.

The Ship of the Year Award, now in its 29th year, is presented by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE) to recognize the highest levels of technology, design, and social responsibility among vessels made in Japan. The first awards were presented 1990.

The Beluga Ace earned high evaluations for its next-generation design, such as an innovative exterior design that marks a major advance over conventional car carriers, its six liftable decks that achieve higher loading efficiency, review of the hull structure, and proactive adoption of energy-saving technologies. The "FLEXIE Series" has now captured two major technology awards in Japan - the Good Design Award last year, and the Ship of the Year 2018.

The Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima also represent a significant upgrade in both public and private onboard space, allowing passengers to fully enjoy Ferry Sunflower's new "casual cruises" that offer the excitement and anticipation of a first-time experience to customers. Both ferries earned high evaluations from the viewpoints of both comfort and environmental/ safety performance, thanks to the adoption of energy-saving technologies such as the "single-shaft hybrid CRP system,"*1 and "vehicle deck high expansion foam fire extinguisher,"*2 adopted for the first time on ferries in Japan.

MOL, as one of the world's largest shipping companies, continues to strive toward further expansion of its transport services by using its group-wide accumulated experience and know-how, while more precisely meeting customer needs and proactively introducing various technologies that reduce the environmental impact of vessel operation.

*1 Single-shaft hybrid CRP (Contra Rotating Propeller) System: By combining two types of drive systems, diesel and motor, and revolving the two propellers in the opposite direction, it contributes to the improvement of propulsive efficiency by canceling the propeller wake flow and recover rotation loss energy. The propulsion efficiency is also improved by making it single-shaft, comparing to the ordinary two-shaft/two-turbine type.

*2 Vehicle deck high expansion foam fire extinguisher: Fire extinguishing system, which produce strong and light foam out of a slight amount of water and extinguishant. The foam has both traits of water-extinguishing and gas-extinguishing, and shows excellent effect on cooling and suffocating.

Award ceremony
From left: MOL Executive Officer Yoshikazu Kawagoe,
JASNANOE Chairman Shinjiro Mishima

Awards ceremony
From left: Japan Marine United Corporation Corporate Adviser Yoshio Otagaki, Ferry Sunflower Limited President Mitsujiro Akasaka, Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency (JRTT) Deputy Director Ryo Sasaki, JASNANOE Chairman Shinjiro Mishima

(Note 1)
Please refer to the past press releases related to the Beluga Ace:
April 23, 2015
MOL Signs Deal to Build 4 Next-generation "FLEXIE" Car Carriers - Increased Capacity, New Deck Design for More Flexible Loading -
November 16, 2016
MOL Finalizes Hull Logo Design for Next-generation Car Carriers "FLEXIE" - New Design Aimed at Strengthening Brand Power -
March 15, 2018
Announcing Delivery of the Beluga Ace, 1st Next-generation FLEXIE Series Car Carrier - Cutting-edge, Newly Designed Car Carrier Equipped with 6 Liftable Decks -
October 3, 2018
MOL's Next-generation Car Carrier FLEXIE Series Wins Good Design Award 2018 - Favorable Reviews Call it an Amazing Realization of New and Unconventional Innovation-

(Note 2)
Please refer to the past press releases related to the Sunflower Satsuma and Sunflower Kirishima:
November 20, 2015:
MOL Subsidiary, Ferry Sunflower, Decides to Build 2 Newbuilding Ro-Pax Ferries
September 19, 2018:
Launch of the new Sunflower Kirishima - Providing a More Comfortable "casual cruises" Experience -

(*) For more details, please refer to the "Introduction of Newbuilding Ferries" on Ferry Sunflower Limited website. (Japanese text only)

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