TT-Line Tasmania finally signed a contract for building 2 new ferries.
The signing took place via a video link on April 15 after TT-Line was given government clearance to place a firm order with RMC (Rauma Marine Constructions).
TT-Line’s order comes after the cancellation of the previous order with FSG, as well as the withdrawal from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with RMC in 2010 as a result of the COVID crisis and local lobbying from shipbuilder InCat and other companies.
In a change that could be seen as a move to pacify the opposed to the order being placed in Europe, up to AUD 100 million (~EUR 65 m) of “local content” is included in the building contract. No contract price has been announced by either party, though the total cost is reportedly lower than the previously agreed.
A drawback of the delayed agreement is that the vessels will both be delivered a year later than expected. The first ferry will now be delivered in late-2023 with the second one following in 2024.
The existing ships of TT-Line Tasmania (Spirit of Tasmania 1 and Spirit of Tasmania 2) were also built in Finland but bought secondhand. After acquiring the newbuilds, the old ferries will be sold.
The ferries are a further development of the concept design produced for TT-Line by Foreship.