Tasmanian operator TT-Line Company has entered into an agreement with Finland’s Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) for the construction of two car and passenger ferries in a series.
The construction of the new ferries for TT-Line will begin in spring 2022. The first of the vessels will be delivered to TT-Line at the end of 2023 and the second at the end of 2024.
Although construction of the vessels will take place in Finland, fit-out and all subsequent maintenance will be carried out in Tasmania under a government mandate requiring “significant local capacity.”
The new ferries will replace the existing Spirit of Tasmania vessels on TT-Line’s Bass Strait service.
The decision by the Tasmanian government to award the newbuilding contract to an overseas shipbuilder came amid criticism from local stakeholders, some of whom continue to express confidence that Tasmania-built ferries will be more feasible alternatives for Bass Strait.
Robert Clifford, chairman of Hobart-based shipbuilder Incat, had earlier told local media that he was “extremely disappointed” by the government’s decision to have the ferries built by a foreign company.
Mr Clifford claimed his company had been considered for the supply of the new vessels following Tasmanian government assurance of increased assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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