Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has commenced the construction of a new car and passenger ferry for Kvarken Link, a Finnish-Swedish consortium.
As informed, the steel cutting ceremony for the vessel was held at the shipyard on September 16.
The environmentally friendly newbuilding, which will operate between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden, will feature a hybrid electric system with batteries and four Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines capable of operating on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas which reduce CO2 emissions by 50% compared to the previous vessel.
The new roll-on/roll-off (RoPax) ship will have a capacity of 800 passengers and 1,500 lane meters for trucks and cars.
As explained, the newbuild will be the world’s first RoPax ferry with a Clean Design class mark.
“Our ferry will be something exceptional and it will feature the most advanced and reliable technology. It will be the most environmentally friendly Ropax vessel built so far,” Peter Ståhlberg, CEO of Wasaline, commented.
To be operated by shipping company Wasaline under the Finnish flag, the new ferry will replace the company’s existing vessel Wasa Express in the spring of 2021.
The shipbuilding contract is estimated to be worth about EUR 120 million (USD 132.6 million). The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 70 million loan aimed at improving the ferry connection between Sweden and Finland.
The project also includes port upgrade works required for the reception of the new vessel at the ferry terminals in the cities of Vaasa and Umeå.