TT-Line Company Pty Ltd’s two new Spirit of Tasmania vessels will now be built by Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC).
TT-Line Chairman, Michael Grainger confirmed that a decision was taken to cancel the original contracts placed with Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG).
“While we respect there has been significant Tasmanian community interest, it was imperative the company followed its legal advice to protect the interests of the state of Tasmania at all times,” he said.
“The firm advice was that neither TT-Line nor the Government could make public comment regarding the contract details or the status of ongoing conversations with FSG until now.
“No payments to FSG have been made, and no payments will be made,” he stressed.
Confirming the RMC contracts, Grainger said; “RMC was one of the yards originally short-listed through the extensive procurement process undertaken.
“Since the cancellation of the contracts with FSG, TT-Line has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the RMC and will commence contract negotiations and agree final design specifications.
“This will include finalising a new delivery date, which at the moment is late 2022 for Hull 1 and late 2023 for Hull 2. Both delivery dates are well within the expected replacement date of 2028.
“Importantly, the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels are already emissions compliant, as was required by 2020 and can continue to operate safely and efficiently well past 2021,” he said.
Grainger also said that the majority of the work undertaken to date on the new vessels by TT-Line and the consultants was transferable and would be used in the detailed design phase and contract negotiations with RMC.
The new are to be operated under the Spirit of Tasmania brand and will replace the existing vessels, ‘Spirit of Tasmania I’ and ‘II’ (ex ‘Superfast III’ and ‘Superfast IV’), built in Turku, Finland in 1998.
They will be able to accommodate 1,800 pax and will have a gt of about 48,000. The will operate on the Melbourne, Australia/Devonport, Tasmania route.
“For the next few months, TT-Line Company and RMC are working in close co-operation to finalise the contract for the construction of the vessels. The design of the vessels will begin in the autumn of this year. The building of the vessels will begin in early 2021,” Jyrki Heinimaa, RMC CEO said.