14 April 2021
TT-Line will sign a contract with Finnish-based Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) for the construction of two new roll on / roll off ships to replace the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels as soon as practical.
Chairman Michael Grainger said the approval to sign the contract was provided by the Tasmanian Government following consideration of the Vessel Replacement Taskforce report.
“We are very pleased that the government agreed with TT-Line’s original position that two steel monohull vessels are the right approach for the Bass Strait run,” he said.
Mr Grainger said the company had been advised by RMC that construction on the new 212-metre-long vessels was expected to start in the European spring.
“The first vessel is expected to be delivered in late 2023 while hull two is expected to arrive in Australia in late in 2024 – well within the expected replacement date of 2028,” he said.
Mr Grainger said the contract would include up to $100 million of local content.
“This is obviously important as it means that Tasmanian businesses will be able to participate in the supply of goods and services,” he said.
“There are penalty clauses in the contract if local content provisions are not achieved.”
Mr Grainger said while the price for the vessels’ construction was commercial in confidence, despite some increases in material costs, at current exchange rates, it was likely to be cheaper than the previously negotiated price pre Covid-19.
Both vessels will be able to transport 1,800 passengers and have an approximate gross tonnage of 48,000.
The new vessels will also be able to carry increased freight volumes compared to the current vessels, which were also built in Finland.
RMC was one of the yards originally short-listed through the extensive procurement process undertaken by the TT-Line Board.
RMC is one of the leading shipbuilding companies in Europe. It specialises in building and servicing multipurpose icebreakers, car and passenger ferries and naval vessels.
More information is available at www.rmcfinland.fi.