Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has received a contract from Japan-based marine transportation company Shin Nihonkai Ferry for two large, high-speed ferries.

The 222.5m-long, 25m-wide and 20.4m-deep ferries will be built at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ (MHI) Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works Tategami main plant.

With a gross tonnage of nearly 15,400t, the vessels will have the capacity to accommodate at least 268 passengers, 154 12m-long trucks and 30 passenger cars.

They will be fitted with a three-storey atrium entrance and transparent elevator, as well as outdoor bathing facilities, and a restaurant and barbecue area. The vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2021.

Mitsubishi will design the vessels to feature a new optimal hull type to improve energy efficiency by 6%.

In a statement, the company said: “Today ‘modal shift’ is progressing in Japanese transportation economy, from on-land to marine transport, both in order to reduce CO₂ emissions and to address shortage of long-distance truck drivers from ‘work-style reform’ viewpoint. As a result of this trend, demand for domestic ferries and Ro-Ro vessels grows accompanying enlargement of capacity.”

Equipped with scrubbers and exhaust gas cleaning systems, the vessels will be powered by four main engines and three electric generators.

This will allow the ferries to comply with the new sulphur oxide (SOx) airborne emissions regulation, which will come into effect next year.

Last month, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding increased the production capacity for its marine SOx scrubber system.

The company noted that it has started shipments of the DIA-SOx C Series tower and DIA-SOx R Series tower for LPG carriers, large oil tankers and ultra-large container vessels.

The series is designed to treat exhaust gas from multiple engines and reduce SOx emissions.