TT-Line and European shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) have struck a letter of intent for the construction of two new ships to replace the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels.
TT-Line chairman Mike Grainger said the companies would now commence contract negotiations and agree final design specifications.
He said “FSG was endorsed by the board after the company shortlisted a number of international shipyards to build the new tailor-made vessels. As previously announced, we expect to place an order for the new vessels in the first half of 2018 and for them to be delivered in time to commence operations on Bass Strait in 2021.”
Mr Grainger said the new ships will have “substantially larger capacity for passengers, passenger vehicles and freight”.
FSG has released technical specifications for the new ferries:
Length: 212 m
Beam: 31.5 m
Freight (lane metres): 2,519
Passenger vehicles: 1,714
Built for Superfast Ferries in 1998, the current Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II had a substantial refurbishment in 2015 and will continue operating until the new vessels are delivered in 2021.
FSG is currently building ferries for Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries.