KiwiRail selects South Korean yard to build Interislander ferries

Photo: KiwiRail

New Zealand shipping company KiwiRail has named South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) as its preferred shipyard to build two new battery hybrid, rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait route.

KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller said that, after the technical and commercial negotiations phase, the aim is to have the final shipbuilding contract signed by mid-2021 and construction of the ferries underway by late 2022.

Once commissioned and built, the two new ferries will replace KiwiRail’s three ageing Interislander ferries, which are nearing the end of their respective operational lives.

A letter of intent (LOI) has now been signed by KiwiRail and HMD. It is a non-binding agreement that allows the two parties to progress to more detailed contract negotiations.

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