FEBRUARY 27, 2015 — Following up on a letter of intent signed in December last year, Estonia's AS Tallink Grupp has signed a contract with shipbuilder Meyer Turku Oy for the construction of an LNG fueled fast ferry for shuttle operation on the Tallinn, Estonia - Helsinki, Finland route.
The 212 m, 49,000 gt dual fuel vessel will have a passenger capacity of 2,800 and a service speed of 27 knots. It will cost around 230 million euros and will be built at the Meyer Turku shipyard for delivery in early 2017.
The project will provide approximately 2000 man-years employment for the shipyard.
The environmentally friendly ship will use LNG as fuel and comply with the new and stricter emission regulations for the ECA areas including the Baltic Sea.
A highly innovative hull form design minimizes the flow resistance and ensures that the ship operates well in ice conditions. Efficient and fast cargo turnaround in ports has been taken into account in the design of the vessel.
According to the contract, 20% of the total cost will be paid during the construction period and the rest after the delivery of the vessel.
AS Tallink Grupp plans to finance 80% of the new ship cost in 2017 by a long term loan. The loan terms will be concluded in the near future. According to the strategy Tallink will continue deleveraging during the current and next year. The management aims not to exceed the curent debt level due to the new ship investment.
Tallink Grupp CEO Janek Stalmeister Stalmeister says that Tallink wants to develop sea travel and to revolutionize business concepts.
"We have brought a new understanding to fast ferry services with the shuttle concept and now the time is right to take the next step," he says. "We have learned from our own experience, listened to our customers and experts and we are now very excited about the end result."
The Turku shipyard delivered a series of six ferries to Tallink between years 2002-2009.
"Meyer Turku is very happy to continue the long and good tradition to build ferries for Tallink and with our new and advanced LNG propulsion plant we are lifting this partnership to the next technological level," says Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku Oy. "With this contract we will increase our output by 30% in 2016, which is good news for the shipyard and its suppliers and the entire region. It furthermore allows us to implement our strategy to further strengthen our capabilities by making the necessary recruits and by improving design and building methods."