TT-Line Company and European shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for the construction of two new ships to replace the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels.
TT-Line chairman Mike Grainger said the companies would now commence contract negotiations and agree to final design specifications.
“FSG was endorsed by the Board after the company short listed a number of international shipyards to build the new tailor-made vessels,” he said.
“As previously announced, we expect to place an order for the new vessels in the first half of the 2018 calendar year and for them to be delivered in time to commence operations on Bass Strait
FSG is a highly respected and experienced ship builder that has constructed more than 750 vessels since it was established in 1872.
It is currently building cruise ferries for Irish Ferries
and Brittany Ferries
as well as RoRo vessels for the Siem Group. The company has also recently designed and built RoPax ferries for Canadian BC Ferries and Scottish Caledonian MacBrayne.
Rüdiger Fuchs, CEO of FSG, said: "We are very happy and proud to be appointed as TTLines preferred shipbuilder for the build of their two next generation passenger ferries."
The TT-Line Board and the executive team of the company worked closely with the Tasmanian Government on vessel replacement through the Ships Replacement SubCommittee of Cabinet, chaired by the Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, and including Premier Will Hodgman and Treasurer Peter Gutwein.