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Tasmania finally signs contract for two new ferries

Firm order placed with RMC on second attempt following FSG cancellation

Tasmania-based TT-Line Company has finally signed a contract for its two new ferries. The signing took place via a video link yesterday after TT-Line was finally given government clearance to place a firm order with Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) .

TT-Line’s order comes following the cancellation of a previous order with FSG, and the withdrawal from a memorandum of understanding with RMC last year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and local lobbying from shipbuilder InCat and others.

In a change which could be seen as a move to pacify those opposed to the order being placed in Europe, up to AUD 100m (roughly €64.56m at todays rate) of “local content” is included in the revised build contract. No contract price has been announced by either party, though total cost is reportedly lower than the previously agreed price.

One drawback of the delayed agreement is that the ships will both be delivered a year later than previously expected. The first ship will now be delivered in late-2023 with the second following about a year later. TT-Line’s existing ships, which were also built in Finland but acquired secondhand, will then be sold.

The ferries will be a further development of the concept design produced by Foreship for TT-Line. This will allow much of the work done by the Finland-based Naval Architect with FSG to be carried over. Foreship has worked with RMC before, notably along with Wasaline/Kvarken Link and Deltamarin on AURORA BOTNIA which is nearing completion.

A side profile drawing of the new Spirit of Tasmania ships to be built for TT Line Pty at RMC. Rauma Marine Constructions.
An early side profile drawing of the new Spirit of Tasmania ships to be built for TT Line Pty at RMC. Rauma Marine Constructions.
Existing Spirit of Tasmania ferries
Spirit of Tasmania I/II
New Spirit of Tasmania ferries
Constructed byKvaerner Masa Yards, Turku, Finland Rauma Marine Constructions, Rauma, Finland
Delivery1998 (to Superfast Ferries)Late-2023/4
Length 194.33 m212 m (approx.)
Breadth 25 m31.5 m (approx.)
Tonnage29,338 gt48,000 gt (approx.)
Passengers and crew1,4002,000 (approx.)
Vehicles 1,813 lane metres of freight 2,519 lane metres (approx.)
Plus a separate car deck
Cabins195284 (approx.)

Steven Tarbox

Steven is a ferry blogger and photographer from Belfast. He founded NI Ferry Site in 2014, and still acts as the editor. Steven also looks after all of the technical aspects of the website.
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