Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia floated out at the Rauma shipyard

11.9.2020 Media releases

Wasaline’s new car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia was floated out at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma, Finland, on Friday 11 September. The vessel will be completed in spring 2021, after which it will operate between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. The construction of the vessel will have a substantial effect on employment, totalling around 800 person-years.

Today’s float out was a milestone in Aurora Botnia’s history. Established by the city of Vaasa in Finland and the municipality of Umeå in Sweden, the Kvarken team delivered a proposal for safeguarding year-round passenger and cargo traffic in the Kvarken region to the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications on 11 September 2012. Today, eight years later to the day, Wasaline’s new RoPax ferry, Rauma Marine Constructions’ newbuilding NB6002, was floated out.

“We can be proud of the fact that despite the unusual circumstances, we are now celebrating the float-out of Aurora Botnia. People at RMC and in our network of partners have done an excellent job, tackling challenges brought about by the coronavirus and driving the project forward in a determined manner. As this project is unique to both parties, I am extremely happy with the smooth cooperation between our team and the customer. I have every reason to believe it will continue to run on track”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of RMC.

Lower CO2 emissions thanks to new technology

Aurora Botnia will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world with a Clean Design class notation. The four main engines, supplied by Wärtsilä, will run on both liquified natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG). When the ferry is approaching the harbour or departing, she can operate utilising electrical power. Thanks to these new technologies, the carbon dioxide emissions from the ferry will be significantly lower compared to the ferry that now operates across the Kvarken strait.

“On this special day, I would like to thank Wasaline’s entire personnel both on board and on shore. I also want to say thanks to all our partners and everyone supporting us on this journey. The new ship is the most environmentally friendly RoPax ferry in the world, and it has many innovative features. Wasaline wants to be the most sympathetic, eco-friendly and reliable shipping company operating in the Baltic Sea. Today, we will also set out to update our brand to match this new era”, says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.

The launch marks the beginning of the equipment assembly and interior work

The launch signals a new stage in building the vessel: the hull is now ready, and equipment assembly and interior work will begin. The focus will shift from steelwork to piping, insulation, ventilation and electrical installation. Moreover, work around the engine rooms and the car deck will be continued.

The ship will slowly come to life as the integration of automation and various systems will turn on the electricity, and water and fuel will start to move in the pipes. The vessel’s interior work will be done during next winter. The outfitting phase will be concluded with sea trials and commissioning for operation in spring 2021.

The live streaming of the ceremony can be found at https://vimeo.com/452475147/9e781d1baa