The Australian state-owned TT-Line Company, holder of the ferry brand Spirit of Tasmania, has decided to relocate the building of its two new ro-paxes from Germany to Finland.
After sustaining heavy losses, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) has become in the eyes of TT-Line Company unable to deliver the ferries. As such, the Australians have signed a deal with the Finnish Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) for the delivery of the GT 48k-big newbuildings, each able to take up to 1,800 passengers on-board.
Handed over to their owners at the end of 2022 and 2023, the new ro-paxes will replace the 1998-built Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II sailing between Melbourne and Devonport.
The construction of the brand-new vessels will start at the beginning of 2021, taking some 3,500 person-years to finish.
At the same time, RMC will be also building four multi-role corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces, scheduled to be ready by 2026, while Tallink Silja's MyStar is already under construction at the yard.
"We are proud and grateful of the trust TT-Line Company has shown us. We believe that with this new partnership, we can serve our customer in a way that results in a world-class car and passenger ferry solution for TT-Line Company's business. Through this Memorandum of Understanding, RMC can move strongly forward on its planned growth path, and can increase the building of large car and passenger ferries in Rauma. This signifies a steady growth for the shipbuilding industry in Finland," Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC, commented.
Heinimaa also said, "Building these vessels is a natural continuation to the similarly sized MyStar, which we are building for Tallink Grupp. During the next few months, TT-Line Company and RMC are working in close cooperation to finalise the contract for the construction of the vessels. The design of the vessels will begin in the autumn of this year."
Photo: Rauma Marine Constructions