The new ferries will link mainland Australia with Tasmania (Source: RMC)

Construction of two new Australian RoPax ferries starts in Finland

A steel-cutting ceremony in Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) heralds the start of construction of two 1,800-passenger RoPax vessels for the ferry line, Spirit of Tasmania. The ferries will run on the service between mainland Australia and Tasmania which carries about 450,000 passengers each year.

The Australian company, a trading subsidiary of TT-Line Company Pte Ltd, operates the route across the Bass Strait between Geelong in the Australian state of Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania. The 48,000gt vessels, which bear the company’s name, will be the southernmost trading ships using LNG as fuel so far, according to a statement from the shipbuilder.

The first of the two vessels, Spirit of Tasmania IV, which is due for delivery in late 2023 will be followed by the second ship one year later. The ferries have been specially designed for the service and will replace Finnish-built sister vessels from the 1990s. They will have more capacity for passengers, vehicles, and freight.

“RMC and Spirit of Tasmania already have a long history,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, the shipbuilder’s CEO and president. “The pandemic, among other things, disrupted our plans, but the agreement for the vessels was re-signed in 2021. We are particularly glad that our joint journey, which has lasted more than a decade, finally reached this important milestone. Therefore, I would like to thank Spirit of Tasmania for trusting our local expertise in shipbuilding.”

Spirit of Tasmania CEO and managing director, Bernard Dwyer, commented: “This is a significant moment for Tasmania and for the Tasmanian economy. When completed, the vessel’s arrival in late 2023 will mark the start of a new era for passenger travel and freight transport across Bass Strait.”

Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore
Article Editorial staff Ship&Offshore