JANUARY 24, 2017—Today, Finland’s Meyer Turku Shipyard delivered the 2,800-passenger fast ferry Megastar was delivered to Tallink for its Helsinki-Tallinn route.
The 212m ferry, which will be able to reach service speeds of 27 knots, will begin service as a “preferred hub” connecting Finland and Estonia.
Tallink Grupp CEO Janek Stalmeister, says, “With Megastar, this hub becomes the most modern sea-hub in the region. At Tallink, we have been researching what our customers want in a next generation ferry. Then we worked closely with Meyer Turku on a fresh and functional design of the ship and I am sure the outcome will please all our customers. We are very thankful to Meyer Turku for listening carefully to our wishes and building an excellent ship for us.”
Built at a cost of EURO 230 million, the 49,000 grt Megastar is not only powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), but also has an extremely advanced hull shape resulting in substantial fuel savings during the ship’s operation.
“Delivering this ship full of latest environmentally friendly technologies and exceeding our expectations in fuel efficiency and increased comfort level with low vibrations, Megastar nicely demonstrates the excellence and quality of Meyer Turku and Finnish shipbuilding,” says Stalmeister.
The Megastar can burn both LNG as fuel and MDO. With LNG, its environmental performance will improve much by creating no sulfur or soot particles and decreasing the NOx and CO2 emissions.
The Megastar has five Wärtsilä 50DF engines, of which three will be V12 engines, and two will be 6-cylinder engines. The engines are manufactured at Wärtsilä’s factory in Trieste, Italy.
The use of dual fuel engines to produce electric power will enable the ship’s operators to choose right number of engines that are needed for current weather conditions. It will result in a high energy and environment saving factor, because all the engines can be used at their nominal power, where their efficiency is the highest.
The ship’s LNG system consists of two specially designated bunker stations, double-walled vacuum insulated bunkering lines, special pipe fittings for safety, two LNG storage tanks with “cold-boxes,” a gas distribution system for supplying the main engines and steam boilers.
All the pipelines for LNG and gas are built from acid-proof stainless steel in order to avoid corrosion and possible leaks during the ship’s operational lifetime. All the electrical equipment in close vicinity of LNG and gas units are certified as explosion-proof. For safety reasons, the ship is equipped with gas detection sensors.
The vessel is equipped with two large stainless steel LNG tanks under main deck, with total volume of 600 m³. LNG itself is a liquefied cryogenic gas that must be stored at very low temperatures: –160 °C and under pressure of 4–6 bar. Tanks and LNG handling system were built by Sweden’s Linde Group CRYO factory.
Designed for the Tallinn-Helsinki route exclusively, Megastar will comply with the current and future emission regulations for the ECAs (Emission Control Area), including the Baltic Sea. Megastar is co-financed by European Union, the Connecting Europe Facility, Transport – Motorways of the sea.
“We started Megastar by imagining how a new design can again bring a next level of improvements to ferry operation,” says Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer. “It follows over a year of design work that is closely linked and partly overlapping with the pre-production, assembly, fine-tuning and testing the ship. Yet the big moment of hard truth comes in the end, when we are delivering one large and sophisticated ship, like we did today with Tallink Megastar – a product of great team work that is bigger than all the individual efforts.”
Tallink Grupp CEO Janek Stalmeister (left) and Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer shake hands on the delivery of the Megastar
Just before Christmas, the Megastar was taken for a five-day run to test the ship’s systems, functions and features. After a very satisfying trial, the Megastar’s Captain, Vahur Sostra, said, “I can see that this ship will become the first lady of th fleet. She’s so nice, so fast, and so beautiful.”
Megastar offers passengers three travel classes: Standard or Star class, upgraded Comfort class and Business class. The ferry will also offer two separate lounges for the standard class— Sitting lounge and Driver’s lounge for cargo drivers.
Food and beverage options will include seven different options, including a buffet restaurant, a la carte restaurant, fast food restaurant and cafés.
For those traveling with children, there is a playground. There’s also a Traveller Superstore with 2,800 square meters of shopping area through two decks.
Double level loading and wider car decks will improve the loading and unloading time of vehicles.