The European Investment Bank (EIB) revealed it had granted a EUR 70 million loan for the building of Kvarken Link Oy which is a special purpose vehicle due to being jointly owned by the municipalities of Umea (Sweden) and Vaasa (Finland).
The purpose is to acquire a new cruiseferry to transport travellers and vehicles between the ports of the municipalities. The new ice-class 800-passenger RO-PAX vessel (150 m long) will be inaugurated in 2021 and Finland-flagged.
Umea and Vaasa have been ferry-connected since 1958, but the service was terminated in 2011. Afterwards, the municipalities took it upon themselves to go on with the service and did so, successfully. Currently, the growing demand warrants a contemporary ship to keep both port cities connected.
Climate action is among the top priorities of EIB, so the financial institution will support the two municipalities for the purchase of a fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly ferry.
The newbuild ferryboat feature dual-fuel engines (powered by marine diesel and LNG). At the same time, it is due to enhance the guest service quality and increase freight capacity on the route. The project involves port upgrades required for the reception of the new vessel at the ferry terminals in Umea and Vaasa.