Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced 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 its group company, Ferry Sunflower Limited, 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.