Rauma cuts steel for 2nd LNG-powered Spirit of Tasmania RoPax ferry

Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine (RMC) has launched the construction of the second car and passenger ferry being built for the Spirit of Tasmania (TT-Line) based in Australia.

Courtesy of RMC

The steel-cutting ceremony for the vessel, named Spirit of Tasmania V, was held on December 20. The construction of the first vessel from the series kicked off in February 2022 followed by its keel-laying ceremony in October.

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The ferries are equipped with dual-fuel engines capable of using liquefied natural gas (LNG). They will be able to accommodate 1,800 passengers each and their gross tonnage will be approximately 48,000 metric tons. The new vessels will replace two Finnish-built sister ships from the 1990s.

“As the production of the first Spirit of Tasmania vessel is proceeding well, it is wonderful to continue the production of the line in good collaboration with the client. They need two new ships for the route, and it is great that the ships will be finished closely together,” says Mika Heiskanen, CEO, RMC.

“As the new dimensions indicate, these ships are much bigger than the current vessels – featuring substantially larger capacity for passengers, passenger vehicles and freight – and will be a major contributor for the economy of Tasmania for 30 years to come,” says Bernard Dwyer, CEO and Managing Director of Spirit of Tasmania.

Once delivered, the RoPax ferries will operate on an extremely challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania, for which they were specifically designed.

Spirit of Tasmania IV is planned to be delivered in the first quarter of 2024, and Spirit of Tasmania V in late 2024.