Rauma Marine Construction
Representatives from RMC and TT-Line Company mark the construction milestone at the shipyard in Finland
Rauma Marine Construction (RMC) has laid the keel for TT-Line Company’s new car and passenger ferry, Spirit of Tasmania IV at its yard in Rauma, Finland.
The milestone was marked by a traditional ceremony, which involved RMC lowering the first keel block into the construction dock along with lucky coins. Spirit of Tasmania IV is one of two identical 1,800-passenger ferries that RMC will build for TT-Line Company’s brand Spirit of Tasmania. The project is the biggest individual foreign sale between Australia and Finland and will create a total of around 3,500 person-years’ worth of employment at RMC.
“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the design and production of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels have proceeded according to the agreed schedule,” Mika Heiskanen, CEO of RMC. “The keel laying of the project’s first vessel is a wonderful demonstration of this. The good progression of the project is also a sign of a strong next year. We expect our turnover to grow significantly in 2023.”
Both Spirit of Tasmania IV and Spirit of Tasmania V have been specifically designed to operate on the challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, in mainland Australia and Devonport, Tasmania. They will be 40 per cent larger than the two sister vessels they are replacing – Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II.
The first ferry will be completed at the start of 2024 and the second will be finished later that same year.
“This keel laying ceremony is another important milestone for the project that takes us one step closer to having new vessels crossing Bass Strait,” said Bernard Dwyer, CEO and managing director of Spirit of Tasmania. “We’re excited to join our partners RMC for the occasion and celebrate the build for Spirit of Tasmania IV tracking on time for delivery in the first quarter of 2024.” “The arrival of the two new ferries in Australia in 2024 will be a significant moment for the company. Forty per cent larger than the current vessels, the investment we are making in these vessels is a once in a generation event that will deliver important benefits to Tasmania’s visitor economy and the broader economy.”