Rauma Marine Construction to build 800-passenger ferry for Kvarken route
Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions [RMC] has signed a letter of intent for a new €120M (US$137M) mainly LNG-fuelled car and passenger ferry servicing the city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umea, a route through a strict emissions control zone. Although the vessel will use mainly LNG, it will also feature multi-powered propulsion including batteries and locally produced biogas.
With an ice-class rating of 1A Super, the ferry will be built and equipped to navigate in the challenging ice conditions of the Kvarken region “as independently as possible,” according to RMC’s chief executive Jyrki Heinimaa. “RMC’s aim is to ensure the reliability of its vessels in all operating conditions,” he said. A maritime region between Sweden and Finland in the Gulf of Bothnia, the Kvarken can freeze over in winter. In mid-January temperatures had plunged to -9°C.
The vessel, which has been commissioned by municipality-owned Kvarken Link will have accommodation for 800 passengers and a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for lorries. Design and construction will start in early 2019 as soon as formal agreements are signed.
The latest commission follows another letter of intent signed late last year with Tallink Group for a new environmentally compliant car and passenger ferry. With a price tag of €250M (US$285M), the ferry is RMC’s biggest newbuild order so far. It will shuttle between Tallin in Estonia and Helsinki when it is delivered at the end of 2021.
Meantime the company’s first new ship, Hammershus, hit the water in September 2018. Commissioned by Danish ferry company Molslinjen, the 158-m vessel, with capacity for over 700 people and about 90 freight trailers, operates in Denmark on the route between the port of Koge, 39 km south of Copenhagen, and Ronne on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea for most of the year, and between Ronne and Sassnitz on the Jasmund Peninsula in Germany in the summer.
Established – or rather re-established – just four years ago, RMC was part of STX Finland but was closed in 2014. Revived by private investors with a background in the Finnish shipbuilding industry, the shipyard is also backed by the state.