Tasmania-based TT-Line recently firmed up a contract with Finnish shipyard Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) for the construction of two new ropaxes.
This project was conceived by naval architecture and marine engineering firm Foreship. The agreement was finalised following approval from the Tasmanian Government, with construction set to begin in spring 2022.
Having developed the concept design for the two ferries, Foreship will continue to support TT-Line during the building process, with service provision to include naval architecture, hydrodynamics, cargo and passenger service concept development, and systems engineering.
Foreship will also assist in reviewing design documentation, drawings and plans.
“We are delighted to be lending our expertise to the construction of two new ’Spirit of Tasmania’ ferries for TT-Line Company,” said project lead Olli Somerkallio, Foreship COO (pictured). “This is a unique opportunity to work with an iconic Australian ferry brand while reinforcing our relationship with RMC, an important Finnish shipbuilder. We are looking forward to seeing the vessels take shape.”
Due delivery in late 2023 and late 2024, the new ’Spirit of Tasmania’ ropaxes will measure 212 m in length with a gross tonnage of 48,000 and capacity for 2,000 passengers and crew, making them significantly larger than their predecessors.
In addition, the steel monohull vessels will feature over 2,500 lane metres of freight capacity and a separate car deck, as well as 284 cabins.
Similar to the existing ferries, they will operate between Melbourne, Victoria and the northern Tasmanian city of Devonport, a voyage that typically takes between nine and 11 hours.
“The Bass Strait route between Victoria and Tasmania is popular with local and foreign tourists alike, and the new vessels’ increased capacity will allow us to meet growing demand when passenger traffic trends recover from the pandemic,” said Bernard Dwyer, CEO, TT-Line. “We appreciate Foreship’s expert assistance in conceiving the design and look forward to the next phase of our collaboration.”
This is the third project that Foreship will be involved with RMC. Most recently, the two parties collaborated on the Kvarken Link-commissioned ferry ’Aurora Botnia’, for which Foreship also provided the concept design.