Photo: Rauma Marine Constructions
Back in November 2018, the Estonian ferry line and the Finnish Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) signed a letter of intent, which now was turned into a shipbuilding contract, the biggest in the shipyard's history.
In a deal worth €250m, which will provide approx. 1,500 man-years of employment for the shipyard, RMC will deliver by January 2022 a GT 50k-big, 212 m-long, dual-fuel ro-pax, able to take on-board up to 2,800 passengers.
In comparison to Tallink's previous newbuild, the also gas-run Megastar, the new ferry will have a larger passenger area with more seating, its LNG tanks will be 30% bigger, and will be equipped to connect to onshore power supply. According to the parties, thanks to the enhanced design, the CO2 emissions of the new ship can be 10% lower.
"The construction of Megastar and bringing this next generation vessel onto the Baltic Sea, has transformed our shuttle service between Tallinn and Helsinki. The vessel has been extremely well received by our customers, with over 4 million passengers already having travelled on the vessel. In addition to the increased passenger comfort, just as importantly, Megastar has taken our operations also to the next level in terms of environmentally friendly operations and increased efficiency," Paavo Nõgene, CEO, Tallink Grupp, said.
He then went on by saying, "It was therefore only logical that a similar vessel should be built for the route sooner or later to enhance our operations on this important route for us even further. We are pleased to have signed the construction contract with RMC, thus supporting also our regional economies due to the construction taking place in Rauma, and we look forward to starting the shipbuilding process."
Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC, also commented, "We are very proud that Tallink trusted us in giving this important project to RMC for successful design and manufacturing their newest shuttle ferry, which takes some benefits from the existing fleet, but exceeds them in performance thanks to the integration of the newest technology applications, for example concerning power demand. In RMC's path to global technology leadership in ferry building, this project is a great milestone and brings us on an even level with the market leaders."
"The project itself is extremely awaited in Rauma, since it allows us to continue our amicable co-operation with our colleagues at Tallink, of which we have had great experiences already since the beginning of the millennium, when M/S Romantika was under construction in Rauma as the first newbuilding ferry of Tallink Grupp," he summed up.