The first Spirit of Tasmania vessel was launched today at Rauma shipyard. Ordered by TT-Line Company and built by Rauma Marine Constructions, the first of two car and passenger ferries will be finished in 2024. The large-scale project is the biggest individual foreign sale between Australia and Finland.
Today, Rauma shipyard celebrated the launch and christening of Spirit of Tasmania IV, a vessel Rauma Marine Constructions is building for the Tasmanian TT-Line Company. The ship is the first of two identical car and passenger ferries that will replace similarly Finnish-built sister ships.
The new vessels will operate on an extremely challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania. The ferries have been specially designed to undertake this specific route.
The Spirit of Tasmania IV was christened at the RMC shipyard. The vessel’s godmother is Deborah Grainger from Australia. The christening was done using locally produced sparkling wine from Tasmania, Jansz Vintage Cuvee.
The keel laying of the newly launched Spirit of Tasmania IV was celebrated at Rauma shipyard exactly one year ago in October 2022. The production of the vessel’s sister ship, Spirit of Tasmania V, was celebrated with a traditional steel cutting ceremony in December 2022.
“We are excited to start a new phase in the construction of the vessel as the work shifts from building the ship’s hull to interior work and systems implementation. This also means that we are able to start constructing the second vessel’s hull in the construction pool”, says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager of Spirit of Tasmania at RMC.
After the launch, the work will shift from hull construction to equipment assembly and interior work. The focus will be on finishing plumbing and electrics as well as interior design for the hotel area. Furthermore, the work around the vessel’s engine room and car deck will continue. The equipment assembly phase will continue with the implementation of various systems, culminating in sea trials conducted before the handing out of the vessel.
TT-Line Company is a significant player in maritime transport between mainland Australia and Tasmania, and the large-scale project is the biggest individual foreign sale between Australia and Finland. The company employs over 600 people and transports over 450,000 passengers annually. Spirit of Tasmania is widely recognised for its contribution to the Australian tourism industry and for fostering economic development by providing world-class passenger and freight services.
RMC building three vessels side by side
The construction of the two vessels will create a total of around 3,500 person-years’ worth of employment at the Rauma shipyard between 2021 and 2024. Rauma shipyard will soon see the construction of three ships simultaneously as the construction of the first multi-role corvettes for the Finnish Navy will begin on 30 October 2023. The project comprises four vessels in total. The project will be finished in its entirety by 2029, and its direct impact on employment in Finland is approximately 3,600 person-years.
Entirely domestically owned, RMC has an orderbook worth approximately EUR 1.2 billion that extends all the way to the year 2028.
Before the Spirit of Tasmania vessels, RMC has built several technologically advanced commercial vessels. Last year, RMC handed over to Tallink Silja the energy-efficient car and passenger ferry MyStar that operates the route between Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland. In 2021, RMC handed over to Wasaline the car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia which has won international awards for its sustainability.
“We at Rauma work every day to enhance our expertise in shipbuilding, striving to become stronger and more modern,” says Mika Nieminen, CEO and President of RMC.