Mitsui OSK Lines has announced that the first of Japan's first two LNG-fueled ferries, the Sunflower Kurenai, owned by MOL and operated by its group company Ferry Sunflower, has entered service on 13 January. The ferry serves the Osaka-Beppu route between Sunflower Ferry Terminal in Osaka Prefecture and Beppu International Tourist Port in Oita Prefecture as a replacement for the ferry Sunflower Ivory.Compared to earlier ferries, the new ferry offers greater transport capacity and convenience for both cargo and passenger transport. In freight transportation, it has greater capacity to load trucks and provides a larger, more comfortable room for truck drivers. In addition, the floor area of the Grand Bathroom is doubled and the number of seats in the restaurant was enlarged 1.5 times, and spacious and open public areas including a three-layer atrium were newly created. The new vessel is intended to promote and enhance the company's "Casual Cruise Concept" It is Japan's first ferry to adopt the latest environmental-friendly specifications including a high-performance dual-fuel engine, which can run on both LNG and heavy fuel oil. The use of LNG fuel is expected to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) by about 25%, and sulfur oxide (SOx) by virtually 100%.