Photo: Illustration. Image Courtesy: Finnlines

Finnlines: Design Underway for Next-Generation RoPax Concept

Finnish RoRo and passenger services operator Finnlines, part of the Grimaldi Group, is designing and developing a new roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) concept. 

The new class of ships, named Superstar, will be bigger than the company’s existing Star class which represents the largest ships in the Finnlines’ fleet, as disclosed by Emanuele Grimaldi, President and CEO of the group.

In addition, the new vessels will meet the highest technical and environmental standards. The target of the planning is to create the most environmentally friendly ship design ever operated in the Baltic Sea. Automated berthing solutions for these vessels are also under investigation.

In autumn 2018, Finnlines revealed plans to order the new series of RoPax ships. The ongoing concept development means that the company is now a step closer to building the vessels.

Some USD 1.5 billion will be spent on new RoPaxes as well as other projects such as Grimaldi’s multipurpose ships, the group earlier said.

Last year, Finnlines embarked on a EUR 200 million green roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) investment program by ordering three new green 5,800-lane-meter ships. Being built in China, they are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

With these investments, the company aims to contribute to reducing fuel consumption as well as CO2 and other emissions.

“In order to survive in an industry facing public pressure on business operations to put the environment first, demands from customers for smarter business processes and, above all, vast regulations designed to reduce emissions, Finnlines has to constantly upgrade its fleet and make use of technological advances throughout the supply chain,” Grimaldi noted.

“Saying this we have invested over EUR 1 billion during the past decade. And even more – we will continue to implement our strategy with determination and with consistency by investing over EUR 500 million more in the coming three to four years,” he continued.

A strategy to increase efficiency of the capital employed on the Finnlines’ fleet and continue investing in sustainable development is paying off as 2018 was a successful year for the company, according to Grimaldi.

The Finnlines’ January–December 2018 result increased by 15.1 percent to EUR 95.1 million in 2018 from EUR 82.6 million seen a year earlier.

Revenue also rose by 9.9 percent to EUR 589.4 million in 2018 from EUR 536.3 million posted in 2017.