RMC Begins Building Spirit of Tasmania RoPax
Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions said it has started building the first of two new car and passenger ferries for Spirit of Tasmania (TT-Line Company). The construction of the Spirit of Tasmania IV, set to operate between mainland Australia and Tasmania, kicked off with a traditional steel cutting ceremony.
“Although the actual construction of the first ferry started today, RMC and Spirit of Tasmania already have a long history. 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,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and president of RMC.
The twin Spirit of Tasmania vessels will be constructed in Rauma for scheduled delivery in in late 2023 and late 2024 respectively.
Built to replace similarly Finnish-built sister ships from the 1990s, the new vessels have been specially designed to operate on a the challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania.
Bernard Dwyer, CEO and managing director of Spirit of Tasmania, said, “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.
“While the new ships will be a similar design to the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels, they will feature substantially larger capacity for passengers, passenger vehicles and freight.”
The vessels will hold 1,800 passengers each and their gross tonnage will be approximately 48,000 metric tons.
When finished, they will be the southernmost vessels to operate using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. In addition, the vessels will have a dual fuel solution, which will allow them to use other, alternative fuels, if needed.
The Spirit of Tasmania newbuilds are being built while RMC finalizes a new car and passenger ferry for Tallink and builds new multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Defense Forces’ Squadron 2020 project.