SeaRoad Shipping will introduce a new charter vessel in March 2021 to provide increased capacity for freight to and from Tasmania across Bass Strait.
The AU$80 million (US$59 million) investment over three years will see the Ro-Ro ship SeaRoad Tamar replaced with the German-built Liekut until SeaRoad’s new vessel is constructed.
SeaRoad says Liekut was completed by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) in March 2020 but has not traded commercially since then.
Norway’s Siem Europe, owner of Liekut, will complete modifications on the vessel in Poland prior to delivery to Melbourne, after which it will begin sailing under the Australian flag. The work will include strengthening the decks, installing barriers and drainage, and modifying the stern ramp to suit the ship’s new home port of Devonport.
SeaRoad executive chairman Chas Kelly said Liekut will complement the company’s other modern ship, SeaRoad Mersey II, which is similar in size and speed.
Once Liekut‘s charter period is complete, SeaRoad’s new permanent vessel is scheduled to come online in the second half of 2023 at an estimated AU$190 million (US$140 million) of further investment. SeaRoad Tamar will then be retired.
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