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Wednesday, July 31, 2019 

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) says that the 'Beluga Ace', the first ship of its Flexie series next-generation car carriers, and both the 'Sunflower Satsuma' and 'Sunflower Kirishima' ferries, which are operated by group company Ferry Sunflower, received the Ship of the Year 2018, and Large Passenger Ship Sector Award" respectively.

MOL points out that this is its sixth Ship of the Year Award, and marks the second year in a row that MOL has received the honour; its 20,000 TEU containership MOL Truth won in 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 recognise technology, design, and social responsibility among vessels made in Japan. The first awards were presented in 1990.

The Beluga Ace earned high marks 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 represent a significant upgrade in both public and private onboard space. Both ferries earned high marks 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 and vehicle deck high expansion foam fire extinguisher, adopted for the first time on ferries in Japan.

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