TT-Line Company Pty Ltd and European shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) have signed a contract for the construction of two new roll on / roll off ships to replace the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels.
The build contract is worth approximately 219 million Euros per vessel.
TT-Line chairman Mike Grainger said work would start immediately and both vessels will be delivered in time to commence operations on Bass Strait in 2021.
“In preparing a business case for the Tasmanian Government, TT-Line Company Pty Ltd exhaustively assessed vessel types and fleet configurations to determine the most suitable vessels to operate daily crossings on Bass Strait,” he said.
“The Board is pleased with the final terms of the contract as negotiated between the parties since signing a letter of intent last calendar year.”
Mr Grainger said the final design specifications provided for 212 metre long vessels that will accommodate 1,800 passengers and up to 600 passenger vehicles.
“The new purpose-built vessels will also be able to carry increased freight volumes when compared to the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels,” he said.
FSG was endorsed by the TT-Line Board after the company short listed a number of international shipyards to build the new vessels.
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 which are very similar in design to the new Spirits.
FSG has also recently designed and built RoPax ferries for Canadian BC Ferries and Scottish Caledonian MacBrayne.
The TT-Line Board and the executive team of the company worked closely with the Tasmanian Government on vessel replacement through the Ships Replacement Sub-Committee of Cabinet, chaired by the former Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, and including Premier Will Hodgman and Treasurer Peter Gutwein.