Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) based in Yokohama, held a christening and launch ceremony for a ferry currently under construction for Hankyu Ferry Co., Ltd., which is based in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka. The new vessel, named "Settsu," will replace the superannuated "Yamato," one of four large ferries operated by the company. After completion of rigging work, the "Settsu" will be handed over in February 2020 to go into service on Hankyu Ferry's Shinmoji-Kobe route.
The well-attended ceremony was held at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture. After the formal christening by Hankyu Ferry Chairman Yasuo Iritani, the ceremonial rope cutting was performed by two women with close ties to the two ports of call on the new vessel's regular route (Note).
The "Settsu" is 195m long, 29.6m wide, 20.6m deep, and has a draft of 6.7m and gross tonnage of approximately 16,300 tons. The ferry has a holding capacity of 663 passengers, approximately 277 trucks (max. length: 8.5m) and roughly 188 passenger cars. Cargo handling facilities consist of two side ramps and doors and another ramp and door at the stern. The vessel's design concept is "a relaxing voyage gazing at the stars and sea," and the interior is appointed with features in the image of the port city of Kobe. The uppermost passenger deck, located on the seventh story, is especially spacious. Here, travelers can enjoy a thrilling cruise peering out the ship's largest windows, affording sweeping views of a star-studded sky and the Seto Inland Sea.
For environmental harmony, a roughly 6% increase in energy efficiency has been achieved compared to earlier vessels, due mainly to the adoption of a new, optimal hull type. The "Settsu" is also outfitted with a scrubber-an exhaust gas cleaning system-to control airborne emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) in order to satisfy new regulations slated to go into effect in all marine areas from 2020.
Going forward, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding will continue to construct passenger ships, cargo carriers and transport vessels that offer superlative transport capacity, comfort, fuel efficiency and environmental performance as its contribution to the vitalization of marine transport and environmental protection.