Before the finished ship is delivered to the customer, MyStar goes through sea trials, which is the last phase of shipbuilding. During the trials, a comprehensive technical inspection of the ship’s equipment as well as various loading tests are conducted.
One of the two anomalies discovered during MyStar’s sea trials in early November has now been sorted out. During last weekend’s sea trials, it was discovered that the propulsion system needs further adjustments.
After technical works are completed, the ship will go on another sea trial for a final technical inspection. After a successful sea trial, the ship will be ready to be handed over to Tallink. The exact date of the delivery will be announced later.
MyStar will be the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient vessel on its route. The ship has five eight-cylinder multi-fuel engines that can use liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Tallink MyStar in a nutshell
- Length: 212.4 m
- Width: 30.6 m
- Draught: 7 m
- Gross tonnage: 50,625
- Speed: 27 knots
- Lane metres: 3,190
- Passengers: 2,800
- Cabins: 46
- Number of decks: 12
- Ice class: 1A
- Main engine power: 42,000 kW
- Fuel: LNG
Like many other Finnish shipyards and companies with project operations in Finland, Rauma Marine Constructions has had to face some difficult realities. The pandemic forced the shipyard to close down for weeks and prevented workers from coming in from abroad. The pandemic also disrupted global logistics by causing supply chain issues and delays. On the other hand, due to the war in Ukraine, inflation is soaring.
Rauma shipyard has agreed on ship orders at a fixed price. Construction work spans several years. Our current agreements have been made before any of the events of the past few years. It is evident that the orders are now becoming unprofitable with all the delays and cost overruns.
The Finnish government has understood the strategic importance of the shipyard and is ready to ensure that shipbuilding expertise remains in Finland. The government has supported the continuation of the shipyard’s operations significantly by granting it an equity subordinated loan.
Rauma shipyard has also taken a long look in the mirror. The company was once re-established on the ruins of the unlucky STX Finland. We have chosen to base our operations on a strong commitment to our network of subcontractors. The shipyard focuses on core competencies: project management, building the ships’ hull and assembly work. RMC works with a comprehensive network of subcontractors – our network partners.
Furthermore, major changes have been made in the shipyard’s management team. Mika Heiskanen, who has earned his qualifications in Turku shipyard’s management, has been appointed as the new CEO. The new Chairman of the Board Stig Gustavson is a notable figure in the Finnish industry sector with decades of experience at the helm of industrial companies.
“The financial performance of Rauma shipyard for this year will not be an easy read. The new management team is faced with a difficult task: they must turn the ship around and steer it in a direction where the shipyard can make a profit. Although RMC’s strategy has been proven correct, its execution – or “float-out” as we say in shipbuilding – is still widely incomplete”, Gustavson says.
RMC’s new management must begin their work from a challenging starting point. The Board of Directors has set up a six-month plan during which the company must show clear indicators of the new direction.
The board has created a framework for development. According to the outline, the construction of military and other government vessels will be assigned to RMC Defence, a subsidiary of RMC. A CEO will be appointed for RMC Defence. The board will continue to emphasise the strengthening of procurement and developing partner networks. The board also requires that the company’s organisational structure and allocation of financial responsibilities are clarified and implemented.
“The transformation process has begun, and it will be monitored closely. A thorough evaluation will be conducted after six months, in late March 2023. The board is fully assured that CEO Heiskanen will commit to his task on a 24/7 basis”, Gustavson says.
Today, Rauma shipyard celebrated the keel laying ceremony of Spirit of Tasmania IV, a vessel being built for the Tasmanian TT-Line Company.
A significant player in maritime transport between mainland Australia and Tasmania, TT-Line has commissioned two identical Spirit of Tasmania vessels from RMC. The large-scale project is the biggest individual foreign sale between Australia and Finland. The project will create a total of around 3,500 person-years’ worth of employment at the Rauma shipyard.
”Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the design and production of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels have proceeded according to the agreed schedule. The keel laying of the project’s first vessel is a wonderful demonstration of this. The good progression of the project is also a sign of a strong next year. We expect our turnover to grow significantly in 2023”, says Mika Heiskanen, CEO of RMC.
Spirit of Tasmania CEO and Managing Director Bernard Dwyer says it is an exciting time for the company.
“This keel laying ceremony is another important milestone for the project that takes us one step closer to having new vessels crossing Bass Strait. We’re excited to join our partners RMC for the occasion and celebrate the build for Spirit of Tasmania IV tracking on time for delivery in the first quarter of 2024.”
“The arrival of the two new ferries in Australia in 2024 will be a significant moment for the company,” Dwyer says.
“Forty per cent larger than the current vessels, the investment we are making in these vessels is a once in a generation event that will deliver important benefits to Tasmania’s visitor economy and the broader economy.”
The keel of the vessel weighs 230 metric tons
The traditional keel laying ceremony celebrates the official first step in the ship’s construction, marking in effect the birth of the ship. The keel of a ship is lowered into the construction dock, and customary lucky coins are placed under it. Spirit of Tasmania’s massive L-222 keel weighs approximately 230 metric tons.
Currently, the Spirit of Tasmania-named vessels carry around 450,000 passengers each year. The new vessels will operate on an extremely challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania. The ferries have been specially designed to undertake this specific route.
The vessels will hold 1,800 passengers each and their gross tonnage will be approximately 48,000 metric tons. The new vessels will replace the Finnish-built sister ships from the 1990s.
Construction of the first vessel will be completed at the start of 2024 and the second in late 2024.
Some vessels in Finland’s current fleet of icebreakers are reaching the end of their lifecycle. Therefore, the country’s next government must make plans for the acquisition of new icebreakers. It is also important to revive the dialogue between Finland and Sweden about Nordic collaboration in the project.
This was the outcome of the seminar on maritime winter navigation organised by Rauma Marine Constructions in Helsinki on 28 September 2022. The seminar addressed the meaning of winter navigation for Finland and ways to secure it in the future.
“Finland is the only country, all of whose harbours can freeze over during winter. Furthermore, Finnish foreign trade is dependent on maritime navigation. Maritime transport must be possible and secured year-round also from the perspective of security of supply”, said Olli Pekka Rantala, Director-General of Ministerial Governance Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, who spoke at the seminar.
Icebreaking is necessary despite global warming
Although global warming is expected to cause shorter winters in Finland, it will not eliminate the need for icebreakers and icebreaking expertise. For example, as the ice sheet gets thinner, the likelihood of pack ice may increase. Moreover, merchant vessels are growing in size, but their engine power and ability to sail in ice are being decreased to cut down on emissions and fuel consumption.
Replacing icebreakers is not only current in Finland but also in Sweden, where the vessels are older than those in Finland. A decision on replacing the vessels has already been made. Sweden has furthermore determined that the new icebreakers must be built in Europe. Sweden is currently negotiating about four new icebreakers for maritime areas, and one breaker to operate on lake Vättern.
Sweden has made preliminary inquiries of RMC’s interest in building the icebreakers. Rauma shipyard has extensive experience in building breakers. Between 1993 and 1998, three multi-purpose breakers were built at Rauma shipyard: Fennica, Nordica and Botnica.
New Board members from Patria and the Finnish Defence Forces
In order to strengthen the shipyard’s security of supply, RMC is changing the line-up of its Board of Directors. Stig Gustavson, a notable figure in the Finnish financial sector and an Honorary Doctor of Technology at both Tampere Tech University and Aalto University, will be the new Chairman of the Board. Mikko Niini, the previous Chairman, will continue to serve as a member of the Board. Petri Hepola, Chief Program Officer, HX at Patria, will join the Board as a member. Lars-Christian Schauman, Commercial Director of Strategic Programmes at the Finnish Defence Forces, will start as a new observer member of the Board. In addition, Karri Haaparinne and Tuomas Kaitila will continue as members of the Board. Observer member Jussi Hattula will also remain on the Board.
“Rauma shipyard has been reborn and is learning to operate efficiently in accordance with its networking strategy. We have already come a long way, but there is still much to do. With the new CEO taking over, we will be able to reach the production capacity the industry in Finland expects both in terms of the shipyard’s operation and technology”, says Stig Gustavson.
Business Finland has granted EUR 1,596,000 funding for a joint project between Rauma Marine Constructions, Viking Line, Åbo Akademi University and Kempower. The Decatrip project aims to develop a carbon-neutral “green corridor” between Turku and Stockholm through which cargo and passengers can travel.
“The solutions developed in the project will enable fully carbon-neutral freight and passenger travel between Turku and Stockholm, but the project will also be scalable for other routes. This is important since all EU countries, Finland included, have signed on to build green maritime transport corridors,” says Mika Laurilehto, interim CEO, RMC.
The Business Finland funding is directed to RMC, Åbo Akademi University and Kempower. In addition, Åland-based Viking Line has received backing from the Government of Åland since Business Finland cannot grant funding to a company from Åland.
Initially, the project will aim to turn a sea route operated by Viking Line carbon neutral. Within the project, RMC is developing energy-efficient solutions for operating the ships, and together with Kempower, for charging electric vehicles on board the ships. Åbo Akademi University, which acts as a research partner in the project, will be evaluating the societal benefits of the green corridor. PBI Research Institute will coordinate the project. Fuel for the zero-carbon transport is planned to be manufactured locally in Southwest Finland.
Dr. Magnus Gustafsson, Research Director in Industrial Management at Åbo Akademi University, estimates that the decarbonisation of the Viking Line route between Turku and Stockholm can be achieved within five years.
“Consumers increasingly want the products and services they buy to be sustainable, and this is reflected throughout the entire logistics chain. The project is starting from the position that the transition to zero emissions will not increase the costs significantly. This will provide passengers with a sustainable alternative, an opportunity for the industry to gain competitive advantage in sustainable transport, and a tangible example of how we can eliminate emissions in seafaring using Finnish expertise.”
The shipyard’s new multipurpose construction hall reached its rooftop height as the final piece of the structure was installed today. The topping out of the new multipurpose construction hall was celebrated at Rauma shipyard. Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) will be using the hall to build four multirole corvettes for the Finnish Navy as part of the Squadron 2020 project. For security reasons, the vessels will be constructed inside the hall, which will be optimised for the construction of government vessels.
The construction of the hall began in November 2021, and the cornerstone was laid in February 2022. The construction has proceeded on schedule.
The hall is constructed by a real estate company owned by RMC and the City of Rauma. RMC will become the hall’s long-time tenant. The head contractor of the construction project is SRV.
When completed, the hall will be 186 metres long, 44 metres wide and 32 metres high. The gross capacity of the hall will be 226,000 cubic metres and it will be one of the largest industrial buildings in Rauma. Its total cost is approximately EUR 26 million.
“The construction of the hall has proceeded smoothly. We’re very happy about this because the Squadron 2020 project is extremely important to the shipyard, the marine industry in Rauma, and the whole country. The construction of the multirole corvettes employs shipbuilding professionals working in various positions, and the total impact on employment is 3,600 person-years. Moreover, it is important that we can use modern facilities to ensure the success of the project,” says Mika Laurilehto, the interim CEO of RMC.
“The project is implemented in a lifecycle-wise manner, considering energy efficiency and the many different demands of the future. Collaboration with the buyer has been smooth, and the skilful professionals working at the construction site have made sure the project proceeds seamlessly while carrying out the special solutions required in this project. For example, the three ventilation units were exceptionally built and fully equipped at the vendor’s premises. The units were then lifted onto the roof of the construction hall and connected to the building’s equipment,” says Eerik Leivo, project manager at SRV.
RMC is investing in technological development
RMC is fully Finnish-owned, and its order book has grown to be worth EUR 1 billion. Rauma shipyard has a long history of building government vessels. For the past years, the shipyard has also seen the construction of several commercial vessels that have been forerunners in technology, such as the internationally acclaimed car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia, which began sailing between Vaasa, Finland, and Umeå, Sweden, last year.
RMC is continuously developing its operations and is investing in the shipyard’s improvement. In addition to the construction hall, RMC has made significant investments in, for example, steel production for the Squadron 2020 project. The steelwork for the section prototype of the vessels is already underway. The multipurpose construction hall can also be used for other projects in the future.
In addition to the Finish Navy corvettes, RMC is currently finishing MyStar, the latest car and passenger ferry for Tallink, and building two fast car and passenger ferries for the Australian Spirit of Tasmania.
Mika Laurilehto, acting CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, presented RMC’s solutions for zero-emission shipping, in both the Baltic Sea and on a larger scale, to Finnish and Swedish industry representatives on 18 May 2022. Solutions based on cross-sector cooperation, local renewable fuels and an understanding of the geographical and business-related landscape, represent a few notable examples of RMC’s core competences.
Zero-emission shipping requires strong cooperation and full-scale utilisation of the latest environmentally friendly solutions from different maritime industries. The solutions must also take into account the year-round Nordic conditions of the Baltic Sea, in particular.
“The issue is not in fact only about shipping; the approach should be extended to entire logistics ecosystems. This includes combining sustainable shipping to carbon-neutral road transport, optimising logistics chains in terms of energy consumption, and using local renewable fuels,” says Mika Laurilehto, acting CEO of RMC.
Laurilehto spoke about the topic to Finnish and Swedish industry representatives at a Business Roundtable event on 18 May 2022, which was held in connection with the state visit to Sweden of Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland. Laurilehto was part of the business delegation consisting of representatives from the maritime industry sector.
Local renewable fuels enable zero-emission transport chains
The goal for zero-emission maritime transport by the year 2050 was published at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2021. In addition, individual fossil-free-operated shipping routes, ‘green corridors’, were established as the near-future goal of the maritime transport industry.
According to Laurilehto, RMC’s idea of local renewable fuels are considered an optimal solution in terms of helping to implement the green transition, for example, along the shipping routes of the Baltic Sea. Fuels based on locally manufactured renewable energy do not require extensive transportation; in the best-case scenario, the ships can be fuelled in the direct vicinity of the production plant itself. This will lower the emissions throughout the entire value chain.
“When it comes to both fuels and ship-building skills, we strongly believe in self-sufficiency. Finland has the opportunity to be the frontrunner in the green transition of maritime transport. At RMC, we want to be part of building future solutions, but it is important to also look at the big picture. It is not enough to only have carbon-neutral maritime transport; the entire logistics chain from land to sea and back must be emissions-free,” states Laurilehto.
Year-round shipping must take into account the conditions of the Baltic Sea
The situation concerning shipping in Finland and Sweden is unique when compared to other countries, because the conditions in the Baltic Sea require the ships to operate even during winter. Both Finland and Sweden are planning to replace their current icebreakers due to the fact that the ships are approaching the end of their life cycle.
“The situation with the icebreakers is presently more acute in Sweden than in Finland. The icebreakers must also aim for zero emissions, which was not considered relevant when the now aging vessels were built. This will make the project more challenging, since the icebreakers require considerable power and energy to be able to open up a lane for increasingly larger merchant vessels,” Laurilehto explains.
The decision about the acquisition of icebreakers has not yet been made in either of the two countries, but Sweden has already initially inquired about RMC’s interest in the proposed project. Rauma already has extensive experience of arctic seafare, with the shipyard having built the multipurpose icebreakers Fennica, Nordica, and Botnica, which are still in use. Furthermore, RMC has also been responsible for the upkeep of other Finnish multipurpose icebreakers.
RMC is currently finishing the new car and passenger ferry MyStar for Tallink. The company is also working on four multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces and two next-generation RoPax car and passenger ferries for Tasmanian TT-Line.
The Board of Rauma Marine Constructions has appointed Mika Heiskanen, M.Sc., as the company’s new CEO and President. The new CEO will take up the position after the summer. Mr Heiskanen has an extensive track record in the shipbuilding industry, including leadership positions at Meyer Turku and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new construction programme in Finland and Germany.
Founded in 2014, Rauma Marine Constructions has grown quickly and become a major Finnish-owned shipbuilding company with an order book of over EUR 1 billion. The company has made changes to its leadership during the spring. Mika Heiskanen (38), who has now been appointed as CEO and President of RMC, will take up his new position after the summer. Until then, the company will be led by the acting CEO Mika Laurilehto.
Mr Heiskanen has an extensive track record in shipbuilding. Most recently, he was responsible for production as an Executive Board Member at Meyer Turku Oy in Turku, Finland. From 2016 to 2020, Heiskanen led the company’s hull production, design and engineering. Prior to Meyer Turku, Heiskanen worked in an international role at cruise ship giant Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, where he was responsible for newbuilding projects in Papenburg, Germany. Heiskanen is a graduate of Aalto University, where he studied naval architecture and industrial engineering. He started his career at STX Finland as a sales project engineer and as the main designer of TUI’s cruiser prototype.
Heiskanen has also led the Boards of two network companies, Shipbuilding Completion Oy and Technology Design and Engineering Eng’Nd Oy.
RMC operates on a network model. The company has more than 200 employees leading the cooperation with dozens of partner companies, who are responsible for the execution of projects. Mikko Niini, Chairman of RMC’s Board of Directors, finds Heiskanen a perfect fit for the role because of his experience in international projects and leading networked operations.
“Mika Heiskanen has the ability to get RMC back on track towards profitable shipbuilding. He has a strong background in leading networked operations and a clear vision of a customer-oriented operating model in an international market. These support RMC’s strategy in a brilliant way,” Niini says.
RMC is currently finishing Estonian shipping company Tallink’s new car and passenger ferry MyStar and building two fast RoPax vessels for Spirit of Tasmania, which will operate the route between mainland Australia and Tasmania. In addition, the production of new combat vessels for the Finnish Defence Forces is about to start.
“I’m proud to become part of RMC’s unique growth story. Together with its highly skilled professional personnel and network of partner companies, RMC can design and produce the most modern, environmentally friendly vessels that create value for RMC’s customers. Close-knit cooperation between competent shipyards and other companies in the industry is the foundation for the competitiveness and future of the Finnish maritime industry. It’s what creates our ability to become the future trailblazer of the industry internationally,” Heiskanen says.
RMC is the only fully Finnish-owned company in its size category, which means decisions will be made and jobs kept in Finland. RMC is specialised in the development, construction and maintenance of icebreakers, car and passenger ferries and defence and government vessels. The company is highly competent in arctic shipbuilding, which forms the basis of Finnish maritime expertise and competitiveness.
RMC was established in 2014, when STX Finland ceased operations in Rauma. The company has multiplied its turnover in recent years and its order book is now more than EUR 1 billion. The current CEO, Jyrki Heinimaa, PhD, has managed RMC since 2017. Under Heinimaa’s leadership, RMC has grown from a start-up to a world-class shipbuilding company, with strong expertise in both car and passenger ferries as well as government vessels. Now, says Heinimaa, it is time to pass on the leadership role.
“We have come a huge distance in a very short time. When I became CEO in 2017, our goal was to grow RMC into a significant competitor to other shipyards around the world, and we have succeeded in this. For example, in 2020, the company’s growth rate was over 400 per cent. When I began this journey, I remember thinking that five years would be a suitable time to spend at the helm of the same ship so to speak, and now, five years later, the time has come to head towards new challenges. I am very grateful to RMC, all my colleagues, network partners and customers for the opportunity to be involved in bringing back world-class car and passenger ferry construction and know-how to Rauma. However, now is the right time to step back and take part in strengthening the maritime industry network in other capacities,” says Heinimaa.
RMC’s Board of Directors has appointed Mika Laurilehto, M.Sc. (Eng.), as interim CEO. Laurilehto, who is also responsible for planning, joined RMC in 2020. Prior to that, he held management positions at MV Werften in Germany and as CEO of Deltamarin Oy in Finland from 2005–2017.
Simultaneously, the management of the Squadron 2020 project for the Finnish Navy has been renewed. Timo Suistio, RMC’s Executive Vice President, will retire in the autumn of 2022. Ret. Captain Timo Ståhlhammar has been appointed as the new Project Manager for the Squadron 2020 project. Ståhlhammar has worked at RMC since 2016 as the Project Manager for the combat systems utilised in the Squadron 2020 project. Prior to joining RMC, Stålhammar was Finland’s Defence Attaché in the United States. Until his retirement, Suistio will continue to support the Squadron 2020 project and sales projects as a Senior Advisor.
Domestic ownership and strong expertise in Arctic shipbuilding
RMC is the only wholly domestically-owned shipbuilding company in its class size, which enables both decision-making and employment to remain in Finland. RMC specialises in the development, construction and maintenance of icebreakers, car and passenger ferries, and vessels required by military and government agencies. The company also has industry-leading expertise in Arctic shipbuilding, on which the expertise and competitiveness of the Finnish maritime industry rely heavily on.
RMC’s strategy is based on a networked operating model. The company employs more than 200 shipbuilding experts who head collaborations with dozens of partner companies responsible for project implementation.
Currently under construction at RMC is a new car and passenger ferry for Estonian shipping company Tallink. In addition, the construction of two car and passenger ferries ordered by Spirit of Tasmania for the route between Australia and Tasmania recently began at Rauma Shipyard.
The company is also starting construction work on the corvettes for the Finnish Navy’s Squadron 2020 project. To this end, a EUR 26 million multi-purpose dock hall is currently being built at Rauma Shipyard, enabling the ships to be both built indoors and separate from other ships. The hall also represents a significant investment in terms of future projects.
“Now is a good time to look at the new phase of the company with fresh eyes. RMC has claimed its place as a leading Finnish shipyard among the world’s shipyards. We would like to thank Jyrki Heinimaa for his significant contribution to growing RMC. Thanks to him, the order book extends to the second half of the decade,” states Mikko Niini, Chairman of the Board of RMC.
The start of production of a passenger and vehicle ferry was celebrated today at Rauma shipyard. The construction of the Spirit of Tasmania IV, set to operate between mainland Australia and Tasmania, began with a traditional steel cutting ceremony. Even though the future route and the shipyard responsible for the construction are located on the opposite sides of the globe, trust and cooperation have been built over a long period of time.
“Although the actual construction of the first ferry started today, RMC and Spirit of Tasmania already have a long history. The pandemic, among other things, disrupted our plans, but the agreement for the vessels was re-signed in 2021. We are particularly glad that our joint journey, which has lasted more than a decade, finally reached this important milestone. Therefore, I would like to thank Spirit of Tasmania for trusting our local expertise in shipbuilding,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and president of RMC.
The twin Spirit of Tasmania vessels will be constructed in Rauma. When finished, they will be the southernmost vessels to operate with LNG. In addition, the vessels will have a dual fuel solution, which will allow them to use other, alternative fuels, if needed.
Spirit of Tasmania (TT-Line Company), the purchaser of the vessels, is a significant player in maritime transport between mainland Australia and Tasmania. Currently, the Spirit of Tasmania-named vessels carry around 450,000 passengers each year. The new vessels will operate an extremely challenging route across the Bass Strait between Geelong, Victoria, and Devonport, Tasmania. The ferries have been specially designed to undertake this specific route.
The vessels will hold 1,800 passengers each and their gross tonnage will be approximately 48,000 metric tons. The new vessels will replace similarly Finnish-built sister ships from the 1990s. The first vessel will be finished in late 2023 and the second in late 2024.
Bernard Dwyer, CEO and Managing Director of Spirit of Tasmania says “This is a significant moment for Tasmania and for the Tasmanian economy. When completed, the vessel’s arrival in late 2023 will mark the start of a new era for passenger travel and freight transport across Bass Strait,” he said.
“While the new ships will be a similar design to the current Spirit of Tasmania vessels, they will feature substantially larger capacity for passengers, passenger vehicles and freight.”
For the city of Rauma and the surrounding region, the design and construction of the vessels will create a total of around 3,500 person-years’ worth of employment. The vessels are being built while the shipyard also finalises a new car and passenger ferry for Tallink and builds new multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces’ Squadron 2020 project.
Rauma Marine Constructions is currently preparing to build ships for the Squadron 2020 project. The cornerstone for the new multipurpose construction hall, where the ships for the Finnish Defence Forces will be built, was laid 15 February at Rauma shipyard. The construction work for the hall was already started in 2021. The work has progressed quickly and on schedule. The hall will play an integral role in the construction of four multipurpose corvettes, which will be essential for Finnish maritime defence.
“The hall will guarantee our ability to build the vessels entirely indoors, where they will be protected from the eyes of outsiders. This project is extremely important for both the shipyard and Finland, and we want to ensure the security of construction work in every way possible. Nearly all big Finnish warships have been built in Rauma, so it is truly wonderful to continue this legacy with the Squadron 2020 project”, said CEO and President Jyrki Heinimaa.
Cooperation with the city is crucial
The hall is being built by a real estate company jointly owned by the City of Rauma and RMC. The city holds an 80 per cent share of the company. RMC will be a long-time tenant of the hall. The main contractor in the project is SRV.
Once finished, the hall will be 186 metres long, 44 metres wide and 32 metres tall. With a total volume of 226,000 cubic metres, the hall will be one of the biggest industrial buildings in Rauma. In total, the hall will cost around EUR 26 million.
“By participating in the construction project, the City of Rauma is demonstrating long-term commitment to the development of the shipyard. The city wants to set an example and thereby encourage new investments in the shipyard and the capacity development of the operators in the shipyard. The maritime industry and especially RMC’s shipbuilding are an important part of the local identity. Our participation will also result in a special kind of pride for every vessel completed at the shipyard”, said Mayor of Rauma Esko Poikela.
“We are extremely happy that our successful collaboration with the City of Rauma enables the construction of the hall and its long-term usage by RMC. The hall will guarantee employment for Rauma and the shipyard for years to come. Building the Squadron 2020 vessels alone will have an employment impact of 3,600 person-years in total, and even after this project, the hall will enable the construction of various governmental and other notable vessels at Rauma”, Jyrki Heinimaa states.
“It is a pleasure to be part of a project that will significantly advance Finnish shipbuilding. The project will take into account the halls’ entire lifecycle, energy efficiency and future operational needs as well as the user requirements and overall economic factors. Close cooperation will guarantee a successful outcome”, said Lari Mallius, Area Director at SRV.
A billion-euro order book will guarantee investments into the future
An entirely Finnish-owned company, RMC has succeeded at growing its order book significantly in the past few years and is now past a billion euros. Rauma shipyard has a long history of building governmental vessels. However, in recent years the shipyard has also hosted the building of several commercial ships with pioneering technology, such as the internationally awarded car and passenger ferry that started operating between Vaasa, Finland, and Umeå, Sweden, last autumn.
RMC is continuously developing its operations and making further investments into the shipyard. Besides the new hall, RMC has made significant investments for example into steel production for the Squadron 2020 project. Steelwork for the prototype section of the vessels is already underway. The shipyard is facing a very busy spring as the finishing of Tallink’s new car and passenger ferry is also underway. Moreover, the production of two vessels for Tasmanian TT-Line will start in March.
Mika Laurilehto, CSO, Rauma Marine Constructions
The marine industries are facing an enormous challenge: How do companies fulfil the tightening standards of emission regulations while responding to freight forwarders´ and customers’ increasing environmental awareness? And how do they do all this profitably? These are burning questions especially for shipping companies and therefore also for us shipbuilders.
Solutions for cutting emissions from marine transport are already available. This was demonstrated by our talent team of five that won the Intelligence Hunt competition organised by SeaFocus International. The finals were held at the end of January.
The talent team, consisting of students, were assigned by RMC to decarbonise shortsea shipping and came up with a concrete solution for the benefit of everyone in the marine industry.
An emission-free vessel would pay off in less than nine years
In their study, the team looked into the standards set by regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that shipping companies will have to meet, and developed a feasible solution for meeting them. The goal was to create an integrated solution that would cover the vessel, the route, the fuel and the power source.
The talent team presented a solution where a vessel would operate between Lake Saimaa, Finland, and St Petersburg, Russia, transporting both passengers and cargo. There is demand for new logistic solutions along the route and growth potential as timber trade between Finland and Russia increases.
The vessel would make use of technology that’s already available, and it would be practically emission-free: two electric propulsion motors would be powered by five hydrogen fuel cells or, alternatively, by batteries. In addition, the vessel would have optimised transportation volumes so that more cargo and passengers could be transported while consuming less energy.
According to the team’s calculations, the vessel would pay off in less than nine years.
The greatest challenge in decarbonisation is not the technology
The jury, which consisted of distinguished international experts in marine industries, found the team’s work impressive – for good reason. The team’s study showed that shipping companies can indeed already fulfil the requirements of emission regulations profitably.
The central strength of the talent team’s solution is that it can be scaled for other routes.
In discussions around alternative, carbon neutral fuels, shipping companies tend to point out that the distribution network is insufficient. From energy companies’ point of view, low demand is a problem. Our talent team found a way to balance the equation with short, regular routes and vessels operating in coastal waters: they create demand and support the profitability of investments into the production of energy, favouring local players no matter where in the world they are operating.
The fuel solution alone will not make the solution profitable, because the vessel presented by the team can’t be multiplied as such. Instead, each vessel must be tailored in the design and construction phases to be optimal for the route it will operate. To achieve this, top experts in shipbuilding are needed. They can integrate various innovative solutions, developed by their partners, and enable their use in practice.
The talent team presented more than extravagant visions. They offered a realistic, integrated solution that can be implemented immediately. However, no single player can do it alone.
We can all learn something from our international talent team’s achievement: The technology for decarbonising marine transport already exists. What we need now is collaboration between companies and the public sector, and across industries and geographic borders.
Mika Laurilehto, CSO, Rauma Marine Constructions
Most of Finnish and Swedish icebreakers are aging, and their useful life is coming to an end. There are too few icebreakers, the vessels are too small and their emissions too high. Therefore, the two countries are planning for a joint procurement of next-generation icebreakers. Although the decisions to build them is yet to be made, the Swedish Maritime Administration has already made preliminary inquiries about whether RMC would be interested in building the vessels.
When it comes to import and export, Finland is like an island. Sea lanes are vital to the country. In 2020, more than 83 per cent of imported and exported goods were transported by sea. Our most important export country is Sweden, our western neighbour, and out of the 6.3 million tonnes of goods exported there, 5.2 million was transported by ship. It is clear that the sea lanes in the Baltic Sea area must stay open throughout the coldest months of the year. The icebreakers now in use will not be able to handle the task in the future.
The next generation of icebreakers must respond to great expectations when it comes to performance and eco-friendliness. Their emissions must be 70 per cent lower than those of their predecessors in the Urho and Atle class, they must be able to break a 32-metre-wide channel in the ice, endure tough conditions that are becoming even more severe, and operate for up to 50 years.
To be able to build such icebreakers, a shipyard must have know-how in arctic shipbuilding and the ability to implement new technology and innovations in a way that increases the icebreaking capabilities of the vessels while cutting emissions to a fraction. Moreover, previous experience from public-sector procurements plays an important role: knowing the process and necessary preparations makes collaboration between the buyer and builder smoother.
Arctic vessels and low-emission technology are RMC’s core competencies
RMC’s vessels are not produced in series. They are novel and technically advanced, state-of-the-art products tailored to the buyer’s needs. When it comes to technology development projects and future innovations, RMC works in close cooperation with universities, equipment suppliers and other partners.
This kind of competence will be key in building the next generation of icebreakers.
RMC has plenty of experience in building vessels for challenging weather conditions. The company has been operating the Rauma shipyard from 2014, and in these seven years, it has, for example, upgraded the operative capabilities of icebreaker Otso, done a general overhaul and modernisation of research vessel Aranda, and built two car and passenger ferries: Hammershus, completed in 2018, and Aurora Botnia, completed in 2021. The strong RMC order book shows that the industry trusts RMC’s competence. The shipyard is currently building a new car and passenger ferry for Tallink as well as designing two car and passenger ferries for an operator in Tasmania and four multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Navy. The corvettes must also be able to perform in challenging weather, sea and ice conditions around the year.
A great portion of the shipyard’s personnel have an impressive track record from working at RMC’s predecessors at the Rauma shipyard. Various companies operated the shipyard from 1992 to 2014, and their commercial vessel projects total more than 30. In addition, nearly all of the Finnish government’s multipurpose icebreakers, larger patrol and naval vessels have been built and serviced at the Rauma shipyard.
The driving power must be future-proof
The long lifespan of new icebreakers poses a significant challenge to shipbuilding. Questions of driving power and emissions will change in fifty years, and they will be difficult to anticipate. However, decisions must be made now so current emission reduction goals can be achieved.
Bio-based fuels and battery technology are the solutions considered to have the most potential for the near future. These are also used in Aurora Botnia, which the Rauma shipyard completed recently: in addition to electricity and liquefied natural gas (LNG), it can use locally produced biogas (LBG) or synthetic methane (SNG), which can be produced with renewable energy. Aurora Botnia is the most environmentally friendly vessel in its category, and its emissions have been calculated to be 50 per cent lower than those of its predecessor, built in 1981.
Although the fuel of the future is not yet set in stone, it is clear that vessels operating shorter distances and in coastal waters will use fuels that are locally produced. Whether they are ferries for Tasmanian waters or icebreakers for arctic conditions, next-generation vessels will create local demand, which will yield returns for investments in energy production and create a local cash flow in the area. At the same time, the need to transport fossil energy will decrease significantly.
The icebreaker project has potential for developing cutting-edge technology
Public procurements have always been spearheads for industrial development and success in Finland and Sweden. Likewise, the procurement of new icebreakers offers an opportunity to develop new technologies and the maritime industry cluster.
A joint project between Finland and Sweden would restore the role of the two countries’ maritime clusters as global leaders in arctic expertise. Moreover, it would safeguard national security of supply in terms of export and import by sea. All necessary competence and technology can be found in the Nordics.
Nonetheless, before the vessels can be built, the Finnish and Swedish governments must work together and make creative decisions to ensure that the project can be carried out in a cost-effective way while promoting environmentally sustainable seafaring.
The cluster of coronavirus cases detected mid-September at Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) shipyard in Rauma has been brought under control. The cluster was detected early on during the company’s own random testing, allowing the containment of the situation in under a month. The Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI) has ordered the City of Rauma to conduct mandatory health inspections at the shipyard, the practical implications of which will be clarified in the near future.
The first cases of the September infection cluster at Rauma shipyard were detected through RMC’s own random testing of asymptomatic personnel on 17 September. In cooperation with the infectious disease authorities, RMC immediately extended random testing to those who had been working with the infected parties. Due to the division of the workforce into smaller teams, as outlined in the company’s updated safety plan, these individuals were quickly located.
During the following days, additional cases were reported during testing conducted by RMC, resulting in RMC and the health authorities of the City of Rauma deciding to implement extended additional testing to everyone working on the ship currently under construction. Nearly 1,000 tests were conducted, and part of the personnel were tested twice or more. Fully vaccinated individuals were also tested.
The number of cases at the shipyard started to decline last week, after which RMC has continued the random testing already implemented last spring. The situation has remained calm: no new cases have been reported among some hundred random tests conducted this ongoing week.
During the past week, four new cases have been detected in individuals placed in quarantine. Since 17 September, a total of 217 infections have been reported.
The practical implications of the Regional State Administrative Agency’s order to be clarified in the upcoming days
The Regional State Administrative Agencies have in the past weeks ordered mandatory health inspections for several shipyards. On 13 October, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland obligated the City of Rauma to conduct mandatory health inspections concerning RMC, the company’s subsidiaries, and subcontractors.
According to AVI, correct measures have already been taken at the Rauma shipyard that have positively impacted the current situation. According to the Regional State Administrative Agency the order is intended to support the positive development.
Ville Laaksonen, Chief Operating Officer at Rauma Marine Constructions, considers the decision from the past week legitimate in the current situation.
”During the past weeks, the coronavirus situation has escalated in several countries, as well as at Finland’s major shipyards. This means that there is a clear need for joint policies. However, we are also pleased that the Regional State Administrative Agency has taken notice of the extensive coronavirus safety measures RMC has already implemented since spring. The measures allowed the coronavirus situation to remain calm for months before this autumn’s cases.”
According to Laaksonen, the exact, practical implications of the order by the Regional State Administrative Agency have not been fully clarified, but the guidelines have been set.
“The Regional State Administrative Agency has issued the order to the City of Rauma, meaning we will continue to advance the matter in close cooperation with them and the health authorities. Among other things, there are plans to further expand testing and require new employees to have received a full series of vaccinations. We will also continue to organise vaccination possibilities at a low-threshold at the shipyard together with the City of Rauma.”
The extended testing efforts for coronavirus detection have been completed at Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) shipyard, following the infection cluster detected this autumn. Four new infections have been reported this week and a total of 213 since 17 September. Next week, RMC will continue the random testing that began last spring. Moreover, other extensive COVID prevention measures will be kept in place.
The number of coronavirus cases is declining at Rauma shipyard as a result of extended testing efforts, which concluded today, 13 October.
RMC and the shipyard’s network companies, along with the health authorities of the City of Rauma, have this week tested approximately 350 individuals who have been working on the ship that is now under construction. Around 430 people were tested last week and around 540 the week before.
Four new infections were reported following this week’s testing. A total of 213 new infections have been reported since 17 September. Very few further infections have been discovered outside the shipyard.
Starting next week, random testing, which was already implemented last spring, will continue at the shipyard in agreement with the local health authorities. In addition, other stricter safety measures will remain in effect.
“We have been conducting random testing at the shipyard since spring, and it is vital to continue doing so, as it was random testing that allowed us to detect the infection cluster at an early stage this autumn. Random testing, additional extensive safety measures and meticulous cooperation with the health authorities of the City of Rauma enabled the containment of the epidemic in under a month,” said Timo Suistio, Rauma Marine Constructions’ Executive Vice President, who is the head of the shipyard’s COVID task force.
Testing, teamwork and masks are the main COVID prevention methods
RMC’s shipyard has implemented extensive safety measures for the prevention of coronavirus infections since the beginning of the pandemic. Following the cluster of cases detected in February, the company has implemented a tightened safety plan.
Workers coming to their shift straight from abroad will be required to show a negative COVID test result taken no more than 72 hours after arrival to Finland. Without a negative test result, entry to the shipyard is denied.
Individuals who show symptoms will be denied entry to the shipyard area and will be directed straight to occupational health care services instead. Weekly random testing will be conducted on shipyard workers who are not showing symptoms. Since spring 2021, over 300 tests have been conducted.
To enable possible early detection, shipyard workers are divided into teams that share accommodation and work, take breaks and commute together. Infected individuals are tested again on the second-to-last day of their quarantine, and returning to work is permitted only after a negative test result.
Masks are required in the ship under construction and other indoor facilities at the shipyard, and their use will be strictly monitored. There are stations for handwashing and sanitizing across the shipyard area.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) is building four multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces. For security reasons, the vessels will be constructed in a multipurpose hall, which will be optimised for building government vessels. The contract for the hall’s construction was signed today. Construction work will start in November.
Preparation for the building phase of the Squadron 2020 project is well underway at Rauma shipyard. RMC has today signed an agreement with Finnish construction company SRV on building a multipurpose construction hall at the shipyard.
The contracting parties are SRV and a newly formed real estate company owned by RMC and the City of Rauma. RMC signed the agreement as a representative of the real estate company.
Estimated to cost around EUR 26 million, the project will be carried out through a cooperative project management model. SRV’s share of the cost will be approximately EUR 19 million.
According to Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of RMC, the agreement is an important, tangible step in the joint effort with the Finnish Defence Forces.
“We have already made investments in welding technology to achieve the needed measurement accuracy for the corvettes’ steel work. The multipurpose construction hall is an especially important investment for us because it will allow us to proceed with the construction of the vessels. The new hall will be optimised for the construction of government vessels, which shows our commitment to the Squadron 2020 project. The project is crucial for Finland’s maritime defence and national emergency supply.”
Lari Mallius, Area Director at SRV, is looking forward to collaborating with the shipyard.
“We will bring our own expertise into this project that will advance Finnish shipbuilding greatly. The user requirements regarding the hall’s versatile use in the future and the need for optimising costs will be taken into account already at the construction phase. Close cooperation throughout the project will guarantee a successful outcome.”
The construction of the hall will start already next month, and it will be ready by the end of 2022. Steel production for the Squadron 2020 project will start in 2022, and construction will be moved into the new hall in 2023.
According to current plans, the hall will be around 180 metres long, 40 metres wide and 30 metres tall. Later, it can also be used in the construction of sections for car and passenger ferries.
Following the detection of multiple coronavirus infections at the shipyard some two weeks ago, RMC, the shipyard’s network partner companies and the Rauma health authorities have jointly tested about 430 people this week. The people who were tested have all been working on the ship currently under construction. Last week, approximately 540 people were tested.
A total of 194 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at the shipyard since September 17.
Contact tracers have been unable to reach the contact persons of one network partner company. Therefore, the company has been denied access to the shipyard area for the time being, and the authorities have ordered all employees of the company in quarantine.
Testing will continue next week
As a precaution, testing will continue next Monday and Tuesday. During these days, personnel working on the ship, who are currently not in isolation or quarantine, will be tested. Those who are about to be released from quarantine will be re-tested on the second to last day of quarantine and can return to work after getting a negative test result.
“The cluster of infections was detected during our random testing and caught at an early stage. As a result, we’ve been able us to react quickly, mainly in good cooperation with our network companies and the health authorities. We are ready to continue with the extended testing as long as is required,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of Rauma Marine Constructions.
Urgent call to the authorities: COVID pass needed as soon as possible
A significant proportion of those infected in the September cluster have been unvaccinated. Therefore, RMC will continue to provide easy-access vaccination points at the shipyard in cooperation with the local health authorities.
The company is also considering implementing a model that would require network companies to ensure that their employees working at the shipyard are vaccinated. However, an employer cannot legally require employees to be vaccinated or check their vaccination records, which complicates the enforcement of such a model.
RMC is hoping for a feasible solution from the authorities.
“Current legislation does not allow us to require vaccinations, which is why we are urging the authorities to provide rapid solutions for this difficult situation. Despite very strict security measures, we are facing cases of COVID-19 again. Unfortunately, this is true for many other players as well. One solution which would significantly improve health and safety is a COVID pass that could be checked for each person coming to work. We hope that the authorities will be able to further the implementation of the pass as rapidly as possible,” said Heinimaa.
Due to the coronavirus infections detected through random testing last week, Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), its network partner companies and local health authorities have jointly tested around 540 people working in the shipyard. Since 17 September, a total of 136 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. 96 of them were confirmed this week. The confirmed cases are mainly among network company employees. The final number of those infected is not yet known, as test results for around 120 people have yet to be obtained.
Last week, those working under the third deck of the ship under construction were directed to be tested, but as an additional precautionary measure, RMC decided to extend testing to all those working on the ship. To prevent further infections, employees who are currently not in isolation or quarantine will be tested next week.
Vaccination is encouraged for all personnel, mandatory vaccination under consideration
The cluster of coronavirus infections confirmed in September mostly concerns employees of RMC’s network companies. RMC is now actively encouraging them to get vaccinated. In cooperation with the health authorities of the City of Rauma, RMC arranged a vaccination point at the shipyard last week, and the next one is scheduled for Monday, October 4, 2021.
“The majority of those infected in this cluster have been unvaccinated, which is why we encourage everyone working at the shipyard to receive their vaccination as quickly as possible. COVID safety at the shipyard is a joint effort, and we want to help with the vaccination efforts in every way we can. We are also exploring the possibility of implementing a model where network companies are required to ensure that their employees working at the shipyard are fully vaccinated,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of Rauma Marine Constructions.
Since 17 September, 40 coronavirus cases have been discovered in company commissioned testing among those working at Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) shipyard, with 34 of the 40 cases discovered this week. Due to these new cases, RMC has implemented – alongside its network partners and health officials – immediate actions to prevent further infections.
The cases have been located to a specific section of a ship under construction at the shipyard and they include mainly employees from network companies. As a precaution, the approximately 200 people working on this section of the ship will not be performing any work at the shipyard this upcoming weekend. Those not placed under quarantine by the health officials will be tested next Monday. Those receiving a negative test result may return back to work.
In order to prevent further infections, RMC has, in collaboration with the Rauma city health officials, significantly increased random testing. There has been an increase in random testing conducted at the Rauma shipyard testing station for the past week, both concerning RMC’s own personnel, as well as personnel from the network companies. In addition, those who have been fully vaccinated have also been tested. Furthermore, on Thursday, September 23, RMC offered its premises for the shipyard health officials to conduct vaccinations for the employees of the network companies.
”We take the occurred infections extremely seriously and in collaboration with the authorities, want to ensure that there will be no more cases. Thanks to the previous successful collaboration with the authorities, we are well prepared to react quickly to infections occurring at the shipyard. We will now monitor the situation very carefully for further measures,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
Over 2,600 random tests conducted by mid-September – six infections detected
Since March this year, RMC has conducted random testing as a safety precaution both to its own employees, as well as the employees of its network partner companies. Prior to this week’s cases, over 2,600 tests had been conducted on those working at the shipyard, from which there have been six confirmed cases of infections.
Heinimaa emphasises the importance of testing, especially in light of the ongoing situation.
”Random tests have provided us with nearly a real-time view of the coronavirus situation at the shipyard, which has remained calm before this week. The model for testing has helped us also to react quickly to this situation since the cases were discovered at the company’s own testing station. We have been able to quickly extend testing to a specific section of the shipyard’s personnel, which we hope will help to calm the situation.”
All employees in the network companies may choose to visit the testing station located outside the shipyard gates to get tested on their own initiative if they are asymptomatic. If a person coming in for work has even the slightest of symptoms, they will be directed straight to occupational healthcare.
Other strict security measures also still in effect
The RMC shipyard has maintained strict safety precautions since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in order to prevent infections. Following the cluster of cases detected in February 2021, RMC immediately introduced an enhanced security plan, which is still adhered to.
All those working at the shipyard and who are asymptomatic will be tested randomly and the ones arriving straight to work at the shipyard from abroad will be required to show a negative test result. The employees of the network companies will be divided into teams concerning accommodation, transportation and work at the shipyard. This will allow that all employees potentially exposed to the coronavirus can be quickly traced in order to be placed under quarantine. Furthermore, facemasks are obligatory at the inside facilities of the shipyard and at the ship under construction.
Rauma Marine Constructions’ second newbuild Aurora Botnia will be celebrated in Vaasa, Finland, today. The vessel is estimated to arrive in Vaasa around noon, and it will receive its official name at the christening event starting at 3 p.m. The world’s most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry will operate the route between Vaasa and Umeå, Sweden, daily.
The construction of the car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia started with ceremonies in September 2019. The next major milestone was reached in February 2020 when the ship’s keel was laid. In September 2020, launching was celebrated one year after construction began, and in June 2021 the vessel first reached the sea.
Today, 25 August, the christening of Aurora Botnia will be celebrated in Wasaline’s hometown Vaasa. The vessel will arrive in Vaasa around noon, immediately after its second test run at sea.
The project has lasted for two years, cost EUR 120 million and had an employment impact of around 800 person-years. Therefore, it has been special for both Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and Wasaline.
“We’ve had a wonderful opportunity to build such a magnificent vessel, which is totally unique even from a global perspective. I would like to thank the client for their excellent cooperation, which has enabled us to successfully complete the project, despite the very challenging conditions,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of Rauma Marine Constructions.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this project, especially our staff, who have made this possible. We are now seeing the result of years of work and witnessing a historic day together: a ship designed for Kvarken will start operating. Aurora Botnia is the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry in the world, and its degree of domestic origin exceeds 80 per cent,” says Peter Ståhlberg, CEO of Wasaline.
The most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry
Aurora Botnia is equipped with the latest environmental technology. The ship is significantly more environmentally friendly than the current requirements, which makes it the first car and passenger ferry in the world to meet the criteria of the Clean Design class notation.
Aurora Botnia can handle traffic to harbours with electricity, which reduces both emissions and noise generated. The ship’s sulphur, nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, for example, by main machines that operate primarily with liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Special attention has been paid to future fuels in the design of the vessel. Aurora Botnia is also able to utilise biogas as its fuel, which is considered one of the most realistic alternative fuels in the near future.
“It is of paramount importance for both the customer and the environment to build ships that stand the test of time. The ships we build today must also be able to operate in decades’ time without massive modifications or, at worst, scrapping. Aurora Botnia’s ability to utilise biogas is one way to meet this challenge,” says Heinimaa.
You can watch a live broadcast of the celebration in Vaasa today on Wasaline’s website at www.wasaline.com. The live stream will begin 3 p.m. The ship will embark on its maiden voyage on Saturday, 28 August 2021.
Aurora Botnia in a nutshell:
Length: 150 m
Width: 26 m
Draught: 6.1 m
Gross tonnage: 24,300
Speed: 20 knots
Lane metres: 1,500
Photo: Aurora Botnia on its way from RMC’s shipyard towards Vaasa. Photo credit: RMC/Antti Lehto.
The handover schedule for Aurora Botnia, which is in the final stages of commissioning at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard, was specified in July, when the delivery was announced to take place at the end of August. Currently, the updated delivery schedule remains unchanged.
Aurora Botnia, which will soon be operating between Vaasa and Umeå, is currently undergoing final commissioning work on the ferry’s operating systems at a rapid pace. RMC’s shipyard in Rauma is working long shifts and weekends to get the ship ready for delivery as soon as possible.
In July, RMC announced that Aurora Botnia’s delivery schedule had been altered to the end of August due to the commissioning of the ferry’s operating systems. There are currently no known changes to this specified schedule.
Tallink’s newest LNG-powered, environmentally friendly ship, MyStar, officially received its name today, 12 August, 2021. The ship under construction at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard was christened by the president of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. The ship was also launched at the ceremony, with the event organised according to the strictest COVID-19 safety measures.
MyStar is, to date, the largest ship to be built at Rauma Shipyard. It is also the seventh vessel to be built for Tallink in Rauma. The ship is fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and once completed, will be the most environmentally friendly vessel to operate in the Baltic Sea. When it starts operating on the Helsinki-Tallinn route next year, two environmentally friendly high-speed shuttle ferries, MyStar and Megastar, will operate between Finland and Estonia. Both ships meet all current and currently known future emissions requirements.
“We are grateful that despite the difficult times, today we were able to celebrate an important milestone in the construction of our newest ship, MyStar. We are now meeting properly for the first time at the Rauma shipyard together with our partners. This is an important occasion not only for the MyStar project team, but also for the entire shipping industry and the passengers too. We are celebrating the fact that shipping will be increasingly environmentally friendly, efficient and responsible in the future,” said Paavo Nõgene, CEO, Tallink Grupp.
Strict COVID-19 safety measures implemented
MyStar’s celebrations were carried out in Rauma accompanied by strict COVID-19 safety and security measures. The christening and launching took place outdoors and invited guests were divided into several different areas to minimise personal contact. Access to the shipyard was staggered and, in addition, COVID-19 safety instructions were sent to all guests in advance. Upon arrival, guests also received their own bottle of hand sanitiser and a mask, which had to be worn during the ceremony, except when dining. The event was also streamed live, making it possible for guests to view the ceremony remotely.
According to Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, it is important that amid long-lasting exceptional circumstances, the successful project can also be celebrated.
“We are very pleased that we were able to celebrate this important event today with strict COVID-19 safety and security measures in place. We have been working together for over a year, and both Tallink’s and RMC’s project teams deserve great praise for the work they have done in these challenging conditions. We are excited to proceed to a new stage in MyStar’s construction work as the work begins to shift from the exterior of the ship to the interior. At the same time, we can begin to look forward to the next milestone of the most environmentally friendly vessel to operate in the Baltic Sea,” said Heinimaa.
The next significant stage in the construction process is the handover of the MyStar from Rauma shipyard to Tallink, which is scheduled to take place in the first half of 2022.
Watch the recording of the live event here: https://vimeo.com/579361313/0e7187cf37
Tallink MyStar in a nutshell
- Length: 212 m
- Width: 30.6 m
- Draught: 7 m
- Gross tonnage: 50,000
- Speed: 27 knots
- Lane metres: 3,190
- Passengers: 3,000
- Cabins: 48
Aurora Botnia, the car and passenger ferry soon operating between Vasa and Umeå, completed its first sea trial in June. After the successful first trial, the preparations for the next sea trial have been underway in the RMC shipyard.
With further preparatory work making headway the delivery schedule for Aurora Botnia has been adjusted to late-August in order to allow enough time for the commissioning of the ferry’s operating systems. According to current estimates, the handover will occur during week 32 at the earliest.
When completed, the ship will be the most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry, the uniqueness of which has also been reflected in its construction phase.
“The Aurora Botnia ferry uses a combination of new technologies and innovative solutions that are not found on any other car and passenger ferry in the world. When building such a ship, many things are being done and tested for the first time, which has affected, for example, the time required for the commissioning of the operating systems. With the handover in August, this fine car and passenger ferry will be completed without compromising on high quality”, tells Jyrki Heinimaa, the CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
According to Heinimaa, the work will continue efficiently at Rauma shipyard until the ferry’s completion.
“For both RMC and our customer, the target is of course to have Aurora Botnia handed over as soon as possible. We work long hours and weekends on the ship and monitor the progress of the work on a daily basis. At the same time, however, we must also ensure that the work can be done with a restricted number of people, complying the corona-safe limit.”
The exact date of the handover will be announced once the schedule is confirmed.
The construction of the largest car and passenger ferry in Rauma Marine Constructions‘ history was kicked off in April 2020 as the production of Tallink’s new shuttle ferry MyStar started at Rauma shipyard. Over the past year, the keel of the vessel has been laid and the main engines and tanks for LNG fuel have been installed. The vessel has reached its full length of 212 metres in the construction pool.
MyStar is currently being prepared for its christening and float-out ceremony, which will be held on 12 August 2021 at Rauma shipyard. The most environmentally friendly vessel to operate in the Baltic Sea is scheduled for delivery next year.
The route between Tallinn, Estonia, and Helsinki, Finland, is currently operated by Tallink’s flagship shuttle Megastar. The shuttle’s godmother is Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland. As MyStar will operate the same route in the future, the appropriate and logical choice for the vessel’s godmother is the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.
According to Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp, the choice was strongly influenced by Kaljulaid’s distinguished work for the environment and to mitigate climate change both globally and in Estonia.
President Kaljulaid sees MyStar as part of the story of Estonian seafaring.
“Two years ago, when the Estonian vessel Admiral Bellingshausen embarked on her Antarktika200 expedition voyage, it helped us to tell several stories – to introduce Estonia as a seafaring nation, Estonia as a high-tech country, as well as to raise public awareness of global environmental issues. Although MyStar and Admiral Bellingshausen are very different, at first glance, however, the story that these two ships are telling us, is similar. Estonia is a seafaring country and every year, there are more Estonian-flagged vessels that proudly display our national colours. This time, the addition to the fleet of our national-flagged vessels is very special indeed – both in terms of its size and the technology onboard, as well as for aiming to further reduce the emissions. Also, similarly, Tallink plays a special role in the Estonian economy, both as an employer as well as enabling tens of thousands of people to travel to work,” said Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia, and MyStar’s godmother.
Promoting sustainable shipping and seafaring is also important for both Tallink and RMC.
“For us, this new vessel symbolises new hope for a better future, because ships which are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient mean a cleaner Baltic Sea and better living environment for all of us. The tandem of our vessels Megastar and MyStar, which will be operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route in 2022, will create a green bridge linking Estonia and Finland. We are particularly pleased that despite the difficult pandemic year behind us, we have been able to proceed with our strategic key investment projects as planned and despite all the challenges, MyStar will be completed in 2022,” Nõgene says.
“MyStar is the seventh and the most energy efficient vessel that is built or designed for Tallink in Rauma. As a shipbuilding company, our goal is to be the pioneer of environmentally friendly shipping, and we are proud to be driving more sustainable seafaring between Finland and Estonia together with our important and long-term customer,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
After the christening and float-out ceremony, the construction of MyStar will continue inside the ship. The next significant milestone in the construction phase will be the delivery of the ship to Tallink in 2022.
The christening and float-out are part of the longs traditions of shipbuilding
MyStar was chosen as the name of Tallink’s new ferry as the result of an international naming contest which was held last year. However, as is customary in shipbuilding, the vessel will not be officially named until the christening ceremony.
Throughout the long history of shipbuilding, the christening of a ship has been considered to bring good luck and a long life to the vessel. MyStar will be christened at Rauma shipyard by breaking a bottle of champagne on its shipside. If broken on the first try, the champagne will be a sign of a bright future. According to Tallink’s tradition, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Reservé Brut will be used for the christening.
MyStar will also reach another significant milestone at the ceremony in August as the ship’s seaworthiness will be tested by floating it out of the shipyard. Historically, the launch of a ship has been risky: a failure could cause severe damage to the vessel. At RMC’s shipyard. the float-out will be conducted safely by filling the construction pool with water.
Tallink MyStar in a nutshell
- Length: 212 m
- Width: 30.6 m
- Draught: 7 m
- Gross tonnage: 50,000
- Speed: 27 knots
- Lane metres: 3,190
- Passengers: 3,000
- Cabins: 48
The Rauma City Council has approved the establishment of a joint-stock property company which will build a multipurpose construction hall at Rauma shipyard. The shipyard lot is owned by the city. The construction of the hall, which is estimated to cost around EUR 25 million, will start later this year.
The construction project was sparked by RMC’s agreement with the Finnish Defence Forces, which entails enhancing existing facilities at the shipyard and building some more. Successful implementation of the Squadron 2020 project in Rauma requires repairs at the shipyard lot and new construction hall facilities. For security reasons, the Finnish Navy’s multipurpose corvettes will be entirely built indoors.
The new property company will be owned by the City of Rauma and Rauma Marine Constructions. The city will own around 80 per cent of the property company and make a capital investment of EUR 801,000, while RMC will own around 20 per cent and invest EUR 199,000.
RMC will sign a 12.5-year lease agreement for the hall and will later have the right to buy the building. The construction of the hall will be carried out according to a project management model that will also offer smaller local construction companies opportunities to participate.
“These arrangements will secure the execution of the Squadron 2020 project in Rauma and support Rauma’s competitiveness in implementing the Finnish Navy’s security of supply. The project is also important in terms of employment, competitiveness and vitality across the whole Rauma region,” says Johanna Luukkonen, Mayor of Rauma.
“This is a very important investment for RMC. A multipurpose construction hall will allow the Squadron 2020 project to enter its construction phase next year. The employment impact of the project will be around 3,600 person-years,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of RMC.
The construction hall can be used in various shipbuilding projects
At the moment, the construction hall is planned to be approximately 180 metres long, 40 metres wide and 30 metres high. The size is optimal for building government vessels, which are generally smaller than commercial vessels, but the plan is to use the hall for building car and passenger ferries as well.
“We will be able to practically finish the Navy vessels in the hall and move them out as such. Commercial car and passenger ferries may be up to 220 metres long, so they can’t be completely finished inside the hall. However, our goal is to use the multipurpose hall when we build blocks for TT-Line’s ferries,” Heinimaa says.
The City of Rauma has already done some ground levelling in preparation for building the hall. Construction will begin later this year.
The car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia is nearing the end of the construction phase at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma, Finland and will be handed over to Wasaline in mid-July this year. The adjusted date of handover in July allows RMC enough time for the preparatory work done on the ferry’s innovative fuel solution to be completed and to assure a corona-safe working environment at the shipyard.
Last week, Aurora Botnia completed its first sea trial and performance tests. After the successful sea trial, the RMC shipyard has been preparing for the next sea trial that will concentrate on testing the ship’s primary fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG).
With further preparatory work for the second sea trial required, Aurora Botnia’s delivery schedule has also been adjusted.
“This is a new generation car and passenger ferry that can use LNG, electricity, and in the future, biogas as fuel. Preparatory work for the innovative fuel solution has taken more time than expected, which has resulted in an adjusted delivery date for July,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
According to Heinimaa, it is also very important that the final phase of construction work can be handled in a way that is as corona-safe as possible.
“Together with the customer, in March, we already decided that the most important thing is to keep the number of people finishing and commissioning the ship within corona-safe limits. We have succeeded in this, and the coronavirus situation at the shipyard has remained calm. With the July handover schedule, we will be able to continue working to ensure that the ship is handed over without compromising safety.”
The car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia is nearing the end of the construction phase at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. The ferry, which will operate on the route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå, completed its first sea trial last weekend. The three-day sea trial was conducted with strict safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only essential experts from RMC, Wasaline, and the equipment manufacturers attended the trial.
The sea trial represents a major milestone in the shipbuilding process to both RMC and Wasaline.
“This was definitely a highlight for us, a culmination of several years of effort. We were able to meet the expectations of our work, ensuring that the ship we built can operate as intended,” says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager for Aurora Botnia at Rauma Marine Constructions.
“The event was important to Wasaline, too, as we had the opportunity to get to know our new ship and its operations in marine conditions for the first time with the project’s key personnel,” says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.
Performance and environmental sustainability under review
The sea trial was conducted to assess the performance of the vessel, which will be the world’s most environmentally friendly passenger car ferry when completed. The ship’s equipment were adjusted to operate as efficiently and economically as possible.
“We adjusted the power plant and tested the ship’s speed, propulsion and steering, among other things, during the sea trials. We ran the ship’s fuel-efficient main engines with different settings and fine-tuned the automation to further improve the vessel’s environmental sustainability. In addition, we were able to ensure in practice that the ship’s design meets the strict criteria of the Clean Design class notation,” Kaijo summarises.
Both RMC and Wasaline consider the first sea trial a success.
“The ship performed well, meeting the requirements set for it. It was a pleasure to witness the successful outcome of years of work,” says Kaijo, with Ståhlberg concurring.
A model example of a new generation car and passenger ferry
Aurora Botnia will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world with a Clean Design class notation. In practice, this means that the ship has been designed and built to significantly exceed the requirements of the MARPOL Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships.
The ship’s main engines operate primarily on low emission liquefied natural gas, which reduces sulphur, nitrogen and carbon dioxide emissions. In the future, the ship can be powered by biogas. In addition to the fuel solution, Aurora Botnia has an electric power system that can be used when operating to and from ports.
“Our goal is to be a pioneer in environmentally sustainable technology in shipbuilding. Our ship for Wasaline is a prime example of what we can achieve by combining years of experience from building dozens of previous ships with the latest innovations. We are grateful to the customer for the opportunity to build such a great vessel,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of Rauma Marine Constructions.
“We are very pleased to leverage RMC’s shipbuilding expertise. We want to be one of the most environmentally sustainable shipping companies, and Aurora Botnia is the most significant concrete step towards this goal,” says Ståhlberg.
Preparations are underway for the handover of Aurora Botnia in Vaasa, Finland. The date of the handover, the maiden voyage and the start of ticket sales will be announced next week.
In the photo Aurora Botnia pictured in the archipelago during the sea trials. Photo: Sammeli Korhonen
Held on Wednesday, 26 May 2021, Rauma Marine Constructions’ seminar on the Finnish maritime industry discussed the future of the industry and the future of seafaring in general. The maritime industry is an important and growing industry in Finland. The annual volume of business is EUR 9 billion, and it employs around 30,000 people.
From a global perspective, the industry is under disruption. Climate change is driving companies to build vessels with smaller environmental impacts, and the demand for low-emission and zero emission solutions in seafaring, as well as other modes of transport, is enormous. As a result of this transition, a large share of ships worldwide must be modernised, which is an opportunity for Finland.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a clear impact on the maritime industry, and especially on the building of cruise ships. The pandemic put a stop to many shipping companies’ operations, which impacted both their orders and their solvency. Although the pandemic has been poison to some maritime industry players, there is still a strong sense of confidence in a bright future.
“The maritime industry is a key industry in Finland. In addition to low-carbon solutions, the market is huge for solutions advancing digitalisation, and Finland must take part in this. General interest towards travelling by ship has been growing for a long time, and there’s still potential for growth. In the long run, travelling by sea will become an increasingly popular choice,” said Elina Andersson, Secretary General at the Finnish Marine Industries.
RMC kept growing dispite the pandemic
RMC’s growth continued in 2020 despite the global pandemic, and the outlook for 2021 is also positive. In February, Rauma shipyard had to suspend production for some days due to a coronavirus outbreak, but the implementation of stricter safety measures and testing enabled a quick return to normal. To prevent a new wave of infections, testing has been continued after resuming production.
The shipyard is now working on four corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces and two car and passenger ferries: Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia and Tallink’s MyStar. In March 2021, RMC and Tasmanian shipping company TT-Line Company signed an agreement on the construction of two car and passenger ferries.
“At the moment, the shipyard can build two different ships side by side, which has sped up our growth. In the future, our goal is to establish RMC as a global leader in the production of RoPax ferries and to produce prominent government vessels such as the corvettes for the Defence Forces and icebreakers,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, RMC’s CEO and President.
Synthetic, liquefied and gas fuels are the key to zero emissions
The main engines for both Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia and Tallink’s MyStar are equipped with a dual-fuel solution. Their primary fuel is either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied biogas (LBG). Biogas in particular is thought to have potential for cutting emissions in marine transport, said Martti Larmi, Professor at Aalto University.
“Reaching zero emissions in global seafaring will depend on liquefied and gas fuels. Biogas is one of the more realistic options for the near future, because the technology it requires is already in use.”
As technology advances, the industry may also be able to use a more extensive array of synthetic fuels, such as hydrogen, synthetic methane and methanol, as well as various mixtures of organic and synthetic fuels.
RMC typically builds vessels for shorter distances and local traffic. Wasaline’s Aurora Botnia, for example, will operate between Vaasa, Finland, and Umea, Sweden. The two ferries for TT-Line Company will operate between Tasmania and the Australian continent.
“This will enable the use of locally produced energy in ships. For instance, the biogas fuelling the Aurora Botnia can be made using organic waste from Ostrobothnian farms,” said Mika Laurilehto, Sales Director at RMC.
Picture: The panel section of the seminar organised by RMC discussed alternative future fuels in the shipping industry. Mika Laurilehto, Sales Director at RMC, Matti-Mikael Koskinen, CEO of ESL Shipping, Kenneth Widell, Project Manager at Wärtsilä, and Satu Hänninen, Special adviser at The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, participated in the panel.
Yesterday, on 14 April 2021, the Prime Minister of Tasmania granted permission for the Tasmanian TT-Line Company to sign a contract with Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions for the construction of two car and passenger ferries. Today, on 15 April, both parties signed the contract. The signing ceremony took place remotely via video conference today on 15 April.
The recent agreement brings RMC’s total number of vessel projects underway at the shipyard to four: two car and passenger ferries for TT-Line Company, car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia for Finnish shipping company Wasaline and car and passenger ferry MyStar for Estonian shipping company Tallink, as well as four multi-purpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces.
The construction of the car and passenger ferries for TT-Line will begin in Spring 2022 and the vessels will be constructed alongside the multi-purpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces. The first of the vessels will be delivered to TT-Line at the end of 2023 and the second at the end of 2024.
Rauma Marine Constructions and Tasmanian shipping company TT-Line Company have finalised an agreement for the construction of two car and passenger ferries at Rauma shipyard. The employment impact of the project is approximately 3,500 person-years and will increase the number of ships to be built by RMC to eight. The construction of TT-Line’s vessels will begin in spring 2022.
TT-Line had to withdraw from a previous Memorandum of Understanding last summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. Negotiations resumed in March this year, initiated by the Tasmanian government.
Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, is happy with how the two parties reached the agreement despite a very challenging situation worldwide.
“We are very grateful for the trust shown to us by TT-Line Company and their representatives. This agreement means that our customer believes that we can offer a world-class solution that is perfect for their business, even in challenging operating conditions,” he says.
“We eagerly await these three years of fruitful collaboration with RMC. The vessels will also make extensive use of the expertise of Tasmanian companies,” says Bernard Dwyer, CEO of TT-Line Company.
Construction of the new car and passenger ferries will begin in spring 2022. The first vessel will be delivered to TT-Line in late 2023 and the second one in late 2024. Once completed, the vessels will operate in challenging conditions on the Geelong–Devonport route running between mainland Australia and the island State of Tasmania. The ferries will accommodate 1,800 passengers and will have an approximate gross tonnage of 48,000. The vessels will replace the Spirit of Tasmania I and II, both built in Finland in 1998.
“An excellent continuation of RMC’s growth story and last year’s good result”
The agreement with TT-Line is a positive signal for RMC’s financial outlook for 2021, as it increases the company’s order book to approximately EUR 1.6 billion and increases the number of ship projects at the shipyard to four.
RMC also achieved an excellent financial result last year despite the global coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the company’s net sales more than quintupled from EUR 38.1 million in the previous year to EUR 220.1 million. Operating profit, on the other hand, increased from EUR 1.9 million in the previous year to EUR 6.7 million.
“The agreement with TT-Line Company is an excellent continuation of RMC’s growth story and last year’s good result. We will continue on our set growth path to build car and passenger ferries in Rauma, which also means stable growth in the shipbuilding industry in Finland. Last year, we strengthened our personnel by almost 50 per cent, meaning our organisation is more than ready for a new 3,500-person-year project,” says Heinimaa.
In addition to TT-Line’s vessels, RMC is currently working on car and passenger ferries for Finnish shipping company Wasaline and Estonian shipping company Tallink, as well as four multi-purpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces. After the challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic at the beginning of the year, production work has resumed to normal capacity. The company shut down production for a while in February after a cluster of coronavirus infections was revealed among workers at the shipyard. Following the detection of coronavirus cases, RMC immediately implemented a more strict safety plan, the functioning of which is being closely monitored. The coronavirus situation has been brought under control thanks to those safety measures.
The car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia, which will operate the route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå, will be delivered to Wasaline in mid-June 2021. Until then Wasa Express continues to operate the route.
The postponement of the delivery, previously scheduled for May, is intended to ensure that the ship’s commissioning phase can be completed safely, taking into account the coronavirus situation.
“The pandemic that has now lasted for over a year, has delayed deliveries of the main equipment, among other things. With the handover taking place in June, we will be able to ensure that the number of employees working on the ship’s finishing and commissioning work can be kept within safe limits,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
The timetable for the handover of Aurora Botnia was recently agreed upon in good cooperation between RMC and Wasaline.
“Together with RMC we have agreed on a revised schedule. For us, it is crucial to have the vessel completed as coronavirus-safely as possible. Given the challenging global situation, the new schedule is acceptable to us,” says Peter Ståhlberg, CEO of Wasaline.
Aurora Botnia’s construction work is currently in the final equipping and commissioning phase, culminating in sea and harbour tests before the ship is handed over. When completed, Aurora Botnia will be the most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry in the world.
Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma is currently constructing Wasaline’s new car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia. Instead of lifeboats, the ship safety setup will be based on two marine evacuation systems supplied by Viking Life-Saving Equipment. In case of an emergency, the systems can be deployed in just 90 seconds and save more than 1,100 lives in less than 30 minutes. One of the evacuation systems was successfully tested at the shipyard in Rauma on Wednesday, March 24.
The construction of the car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia is at a high level of activity at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma.
Instead of lifeboats, Aurora Botnia will utilise two evacuation systems as safety equipment, that can be launched from the deck of the ship. The systems are based on an evacuation chute and an automatically inflatable life raft. Once the life raft has been deployed, evacuating passengers can quickly slide to safety through the evacuation chute.
Compared to a lifeboat, a marine evacuation system has many advantages: it takes up little space, it can be deployed in a very short time, it has a high capacity, and it enables quick rescue operations.
“A ship the size of Aurora Botnia would need about six to eight traditional lifeboats. One lifeboat would accommodate a maximum of 150 passengers and its deployment would take about 10 minutes and require the assistance of four people. Only two evacuation systems are needed on board and it only takes about 90 seconds for one to two people to deploy one system. Aurora Botnia is the first Finnish passenger ship to completely replace lifeboats with evacuation systems”, says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.
One of the ship’s evacuation systems was successfully tested on Wednesday, March 24, at RMC’s shipyard in Rauma.
“Testing went well and we detected no technical issues. Some 20 people were rescued very quickly with the use of the system”, says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager of Aurora Botnia at Rauma Marine Constructions.
Aurora Botnia, which will be completed this spring, will operate a route between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. The ship will be the most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry in the world.
A video from the marine evacuation system test can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/CxPG9dNCdrQ
Production at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma has returned to almost full capacity. With the gradual increase in the number of employees, today, Wednesday, March 10, some 900 people were present at the shipyard.
For the first time since the resumption of production, work will also be carried out with normal workforce capacity during the upcoming weekend. Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO & President of Rauma Marine Constructions, is pleased with the current situation.
“The corona situation has been brought under control with stricter safety measures, and thanks to that we have been able to resume production to near normal capacity. After mass testing carried out by the authorities, a small number of those working at the shipyard are still in isolation or quarantine. When they return to work, we will be back to full capacity,” says Heinimaa.
Enhanced safety measures under continuous monitoring
Following the detection of a cluster of coronavirus infections in February, RMC immediately implemented a stricter safety plan, the functioning of which is being closely monitored.
“The most important thing is to ensure that people come to work only in good health and to make it easier to identify those who have been exposed to the coronavirus. We monitor compliance with the instructions and constantly follow the development of the situation. If necessary, we will make changes to the safety plan immediately. The coming weeks will show the full effect of the stricter measures,” Heinimaa says.
According to the stricter safety plan, two negative corona test results are required for those coming to work directly from abroad to the shipyard. In addition, network company employees have been divided into teams concerning accommodation, commuting and work at the shipyard area, allowing potential exposure to the coronavirus to be quickly identified and quarantine measures to be adopted.
Masks need to be worn throughout the shipyard area, and the practice of wearing masks is being monitored daily by security personnel. A person not wearing a mask will be removed from the area for the rest of the day and given a written warning.
If a person coming to work at the shipyard is showing even minor symptoms of the coronavirus infection, he or she will be referred directly to occupational health care. Random testing will be introduced for asymptomatic people coming to work at the shipyard. In addition, employees can also get tested on their own initiative. Random testing will begin next week and continue for the time being.
Production is resuming gradually at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. Around 500 people had returned to work on Friday, 5 March. Earlier this week, authorities tested workers who were in the final stage of their quarantine at the shipyard’s parking area. Return to work after quarantine has only been possible for those who have been tested negative for COVID-19 and who share accommodation with a group where no new transmissions have been found. Everyone entering the shipyard is identified at the gate. Wearing a mask is compulsory, and those who do not adhere to this rule are sanctioned. Next week, RMC will begin random testing to detect possible infections early.
Production is resuming smoothly at Rauma shipyard. Around 500 people were back to work on Friday, 5 March. A smaller number of people will work at the shipyard on the weekend.
After mass testing conducted by the authorities earlier this week, only those who have been released from quarantine and have been tested negative for COVID-19 have been able to return to work. Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO & President of RMC is happy with the testing.
“Testing has been a success, and cooperation with our network partner companies and the authorities has been smooth. The network partner companies have followed our updated safety plan, dividing their employees into groups who share accommodation and commute together. This has been a significant help in tracking those who have been exposed to the virus and placing people in official quarantine.”
Strict scrutiny at the gate, random testing, sanctions for not wearing a mask
As the number of people working at the shipyard grows, RMC continues to focus on only allowing people in full health to come to work. Everyone entering the shipyard is identified at the gate, and random testing will soon begin. Wearing a mask is compulsory, and those who do not adhere to this rule are sanctioned.
“Our current policy is to stop everyone entering the shipyard at the gate and check if they are allowed to come to work,” says Heinimaa.
Next week, RMC will begin random testing for people arriving at the shipyard. The testing will be conducted on a weekly basis, and in addition to random testing, employees can also get tested on their own initiative. Masks need to be worn throughout the shipyard area, and the practice of wearing masks is being monitored more closely. A person not wearing a mask will be given a written warning and will be removed from the area for the rest of the day.
In accordance with RMC’s updated safety plan, the employees of the network companies have been divided into smaller teams concerning accommodation, commuting, and work at the shipyard. If a person in the shipyard area shows even slight symptoms suggestive of a coronavirus infection, the person and the people belonging to his or her team and others in the work area are immediately directed out of the shipyard area for examination by the health authorities. Employees are also encouraged to get tested in their free time at first sign of symptoms.
Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, RMC has had security measures in place in accordance with official guidelines, which have been tightened due to the outbreak of infections in February. RMC continuously monitors the functioning of its updated safety plan and takes additional measures immediately if necessary.
In co-operation with the authorities, Rauma Marine Constructions has continued testing employees who are being released from quarantine at Rauma Shipyard for new corona infections. Testing ensures that workers returning to work at the shipyard are with certainty in full health.
On Tuesday, March 2, samples were taken from 235 individuals. By Wednesday afternoon, 16 new infections had been found in those tested. In total, 340 out of about 1,000 workers have now contracted corona infections related to the shipyard.
The corona tests enforced by the authorities for those who worked in the shipyard area will continue in cooperation with the shipyard on Thursday, March 4. All exposed and quarantined individuals will be tested before the end of quarantine. Only healthy employees are allowed to return to work.
RMC is actively monitoring the situation. The shipyard currently has enhanced security measures in place, which are followed by all operators in the area.
“It is clear that even more infections outside the shipyard may occur among network company employees. In line with our updated security plan, our network companies have now divided their employees into teams, making it significantly easier to identify and quarantine those exposed. We have also introduced stricter safety arrangements than those recommended by the government, such as requiring negative test results from those returning to work. In addition, we are currently planning to conduct random tests for those entering the shipyard area. This set of different measures is a great example of excellent cooperation between RMC, network companies, the City of Rauma and the health authorities”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC.
Rauma Marine Constructions will continue to restart production in phases at Rauma shipyard this week. Authorities have placed around 800 shipyard production workers in quarantine due to possible exposure to the coronavirus. From Monday to Wednesday, RMC and health authorities are organising mass testing for RMC and network company employees, who are in the final stage of their quarantine. The testing will be done at the parking area outside the shipyard. After quarantine, you can only enter the shipyard with a negative test result and no exposure. This new policy is stricter than official instructions.
Production will be restarted at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard this week. Production was run down on Friday, 19 February, after a cluster of coronavirus infections was detected among people working at the shipyard. Authorities tested everyone working at the shipyard and placed those with COVID-19 in isolation and those who had been exposed in quarantine.
This week, employees who are in the final stage of their quarantine will be tested again. RMC will organise a testing facility at the parking area outside the Rauma shipyard where authorities will conduct the testing from Monday to Wednesday. Safety measures will be strict.
“We want to help health authorities to avoid overburdening testing facilities, so we will offer the parking area outside the shipyard for mass testing. The people to be tested will arrive in cars, in predetermined groups that have been given time slots. They will wait for their turn in the car and can only leave the car when permission is given. After the test, each person will return to their accommodation in the same car group and wait for results there,” explains Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO & President of Rauma Marine Constructions.
Heinimaa emphasises that the network companies have been excellent partners for RMC in the planning and implementation of testing arrangements and that the cooperation has run smoothly.
Return to work is only possible in full health
Mass testing has revealed new cases where the transmission has occurred in quarantine, outside the shipyard. According to Heinimaa, new infections were to be expected, and health authorities have stated that more cases are likely to be found. Additional testing will help ensure that only those in full health return to work.
“Previously, self-quarantine as defined by official instructions was considered a sufficient measure before returning to work. Now, people who have been placed in official quarantine will be tested again to make sure that only those who are in full health will be released from quarantine and can return to work. People who test positive will be isolated, and their teammates will be placed in a new quarantine,” Heinimaa says.
In addition to the testing conducted by health authorities, RMC will begin to measure the body temperature of employees arriving to the shipyard for testing or work, using a thermal imaging camera. According to Heinimaa, measuring body temperature is part of the company’s new, stricter safety plan.
Production will be restarted in phases at the shipyard this week, and RMC has given its network partner companies strict safety instructions. For example, employees will arrive at work and take breaks in turns. Moreover, employees will be divided into separate teams that will share accommodation and work, take breaks and commute together. Everyone entering the shipyard must wear a mask, and mask wearing will be enforced.
Production at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard in Rauma has resumed today, February 25 at 6 AM, after a week-long corona closure. Production will resume in stages in a controlled manner. The company closed production on Friday, February 19, last week, after a cluster of corona infections were uncovered among workers at the shipyard. Following this, authorities tested all employees of the shipyard and quarantined the exposed ones. Work will now slowly resume on Thursday and Friday (February 25-26), with a few dozen employees. The shipyard will be closed during the weekend, and the next group of workers will arrive at work on Monday, March 1.
RMC has reviewed both its own and its network’s operating practices during the closure. Although the shipyard has been operating according to official instructions for a long time, it has clearly not been to a sufficient standard, Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, says.
“Everyone has done their best and acted according to official guidelines. At this stage, however, it has evidently not been enough. We are therefore enforcing even stricter guidelines and monitoring them closely together with our network partners. More attention will also be paid to the effectiveness of our communication, so that we can be sure that everyone working at the shipyard is aware of the guidelines and their significance also outside of official working hours. Compliance monitoring will be stepped up and RMC will require zero tolerance from all actors.”
According to Heinimaa, the company’s internal communication is multilingual. RMC will next assess whether there is a need to expand the range of languages to ensure that the instructions are fully comprehensible to everyone.
Work will be staggered, control over the use of the mask will be tightened
Going forward, work will be staggered, and movement around the shipyard will only be permitted in previously assigned, individual teams. In addition, lunch breaks and additional breaks will also be staggered more strongly than before. The shipyard has also enforced the use of masks, which is being monitored more strictly. Furthermore, Rauma Marine Constructions will organise health testing before entering the shipyard area in order to prevent the situation from recurring.
Heinimaa also emphasises that RMC takes the allegations made in the media that various actors in the network have forged their employees’ corona test certificates, extremely seriously.
“We have no knowledge of such activities. However, this is a serious accusation, and we are thoroughly investigating it,” says Heinimaa.
RMC decided to suspend production at the shipyard last week after the scale of the situation was revealed. The decision was made together with the authorities. The closing of the shipyard’s production was carried out systematically and in cooperation with all actors in the area.
Resuming production after the corona closure will begin in a composed and controlled manner. All the yard’s facilities have been cleaned and sanitised with extra attention and particularly strict safety measures are in place to ensure a safe working environment. In cooperation with the health authorities, Rauma Marine Constructions has specified its previous instructions by drafting a detailed safety plan, based on which production can be continued.
Rauma Marine Constructions will restart production at Rauma Shipyard in stages starting on Thursday 25 February. Production will resume at a calm pace and with small numbers of people.
“We will resume production in a restrained manner. On Thursday and Friday, only a few dozen workers who have not been at the shipyard during the corona exposure will return to work. There will be no working at the shipyard over the weekend so we can take the time to prepare for the following week. The next workers returning to the shipyard will arrive next Monday, and the number will be increased day by day. All measures aim to get production up and running in safe working conditions,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
Even stricter safety measures
The shipyard has had extensive safety measures in place against corona infections for almost a year. Due to the current situation, all facilities in the shipyard area have been cleaned with extra care and sanitised on February 20–21. Moving forward, even more emphasis will be placed on strict safety measures to counter corona infections. RMC has planned the additional safety measures in active cooperation with the health authorities.
“Together with the health authorities, we have drafted a detailed safety plan to which our network companies are also committed. The plan and related instructions widely cover the entry into and operation in the shipyard area, as well as the rules and guidelines for example related to employees’ leisure time and living. We require negative test results from those returning to work. We will also increase random testing and, among other things, find out possibilities for quick testing when arriving to work. Entering the shipyard area while sick is not permitted,” Heinimaa says.
Catching up on ship project schedules will begin immediately
Rauma Marine Constructions currently has three ongoing ship projects: Wasaline’s new car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia, Tallink’s car and passenger ferry MyStar, and a set of four multifunctional corvettes for the Finnish Defense Forces. The schedules for these projects are currently under review.
“By resuming production this week, we will ensure that these detailed safety measures work in practice before increasing the number of employees next week,” Heinimaa concludes.
In the past days, a cluster of corona infections was discovered at Rauma shipyard. Rauma Marine Constructions’ own personnel has not been infected but there have been multiple cases reported among the company’s network companies. Authorities have placed all exposed workers under quarantine for 14 days. Other employees working in the network will be tested during the rest of the week.
All efforts are being made at the shipyard to get the situation under control. Over the weekend and the beginning of the week, 47 corona infections have been reported in RMC’s network companies.
Even more corona testing will be conducted at the shipyard from Wednesday onwards. RMC has provided the healthcare authorities with a location where several testing groups can work simultaneously. All employees of subcontracting companies will be tested by the end of the week. The healthcare authorities will also assume responsibility for guiding employees to get tested and the exposed employees have been put under a 14-day quarantine.
“We take the emerged corona infections extremely seriously and are working with the authorities to trace and control the chains of infection. On our part, we want to emphasise strict adherence to the regulatory guidelines and hygiene instructions given by the authorities, also in our free time. Despite there not being infections among RMC’s employees, we have tightened the recommendation for remote work. It is also mandatory to wear a mask while working, as long as it is possible while taking into consideration work safety”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC.
The employees from the network companies will return to work either after the 14-day quarantine or providing a negative test result. Everyone in the network is committed to getting the situation under control, RMC has assured.
RMC currently has two passenger car ferries under construction. Work at the shipyard will not stop but a testing round among network employees will cause potential local downtime.
Rauma Marine Constructions has appointed Ville Laaksonen as Chief Operating Officer. Laaksonen succeeds Timo Suistio, who will focus on his role as RMC’s Executive Vice President.
RMC has appointed Ville Laaksonen, B.Eng (Tech) as the company’s Chief Operating Officer as of 1 February 2021. Laaksonen, 38, will also join RMC’s Management Team, where he will be responsible for production.
Laaksonen worked previously at Meyer Turku Oy, where he acted as Head of Outfitting and was also a member of the shipyard’s Management Team.
“Despite the coronavirus pandemic, RMC has grown in 2020 and reached the highest revenue in the history of the Rauma shipyard. I’m happy to see Ville Laaksonen join our growth story. Strengthening our management with dynamic leaders like Ville is a signal of a new generation of shipbuilders stepping up and taking the helm”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO and President of RMC.
Timo Suistio, RMC’s COO until now, will continue as RMC’s Executive Vice President. He will have a clearer focus on this role, ensuring the implementation of the company’s growth strategy, developing project management and supporting sales.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has entered into three major supply contracts for the main equipment of Pohjanmaa Class multi-purpose corvettes commissioned by the Finnish Defence Forces. The main equipment will be purchased from leading global suppliers whose systems have been developed specifically for combat vessels. The contracts are worth over EUR 100 million in total.
The most crucial contracts for the supply of critical main equipment with long delivery times were signed during spring and summer in highly unusual circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has posed significant challenges to numerous businesses, including the Squadron 2020 project.
– During these challenging times, we have had to develop new ways of working, also regarding the negotiations, which have demanded tenacity and patience from all parties involved. We are very pleased that the contracts for the most vital and time-sensitive equipment procurements for the Finnish Defence Forces’ Squadron 2020 project have now been signed. This is a considerable achievement, especially seeing as many shipyards and businesses have unfortunately had to close down completely, says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
The most important machinery equipment in the multi-purpose corvettes are the gas turbine, the electric drive system along with the gear system that connects them to the propeller shafts, and the main diesel generators. The electric drive system and the gear system, which is critical to performance and technically challenging, will be supplied by the German company RENK AG. The company has decades of experience in delivering gear systems for combat vessels to nations around the globe.
The gas turbines will be supplied by General Electric. The LM2500 gas turbine is the world’s most commonly used gas turbine in naval ships. The Finnish Defence Forces will be the 39th navy in the world to adopt this turbine model.
The electrical power will be supplied by extremely quiet 12V 175D diesel generators from MAN Energy Solutions SE.
Several important factors were considered when selecting suppliers. These include the power/weight ratio of the engines and gear systems, reduced underwater noise, and warfighting vulnerability, which all play into the operative performance of the vessel. All systems also meet the demands of northern winter and ice-going conditions that are exceptional for warships. The engine and propulsion solution of the Squadron 2020 vessels is a so-called CODELAG (Combined Diesel Electric and Gas) system with two propeller shaft lines. When the ship travels at lower speeds, the vessel is driven by electrical engines, which connect to the gear and are powered by the diesel generators. At higher speeds and in heavy ice conditions, a high-power gas turbine is connected to the gear.
The systems and suppliers that were selected meet the criteria of national security of supply with which the vessels must comply. The vessels will be serviced in Finland throughout their lifecycle.
The construction of the new fast shuttle ferry for Tallink Grupp is progressing at the Rauma shipyard. The keel of Rauma Marine Constructions’ newbuilding NB6003, a shuttle vessel named MyStar, was laid today, 18 September 2020. MyStar is set to be delivered to the owner at the beginning of 2022. The ferry will operate between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia. The shipbuilding project will provide over 1,500 person-years of employment for the shipyard.
The first keel-block of the new vessel was laid into the shipyard’s dry dock today. The block weighs approximately 270 tonnes. Laying down the keel is an important milestone in shipbuilding, and it’s often considered as the birth of the ship. Traditionally, lucky coins are placed under the keel. This time, the lucky coins were Estonian and Finnish euro coins.
“We are pleased to say that despite the global economic situation and the global coronavirus pandemic, production has continued at the Rauma shipyard. Although the final impact of the pandemic on the shipyard remains to be seen, we are confident that operations will continue to run on track due to the HSES measures we have taken,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC).
The delivery of the main equipment is progressing according to schedule. The vessel’s main engines were tested during the summer, and the testing of the generators was completed in August.
“It is extremely important to keep our sights both on the near as well as the more distant future right now and continue with key projects that will ensure shipping is greener, more efficient and increasingly sustainable in the future,” said Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp.
“With the MyStar project, we are proud and happy to be able to help sustain the rich tradition of Finnish shipbuilding. Now more than ever, it matters to us that we can build our ship close to home in Finland, and this way, help preserve jobs in Finland and Estonia, to keep the historic shipbuilding industry in Finland going and support and contribute to the economies of our Baltic Sea region as a whole,” Nõgene continues.
The construction of MyStar started in April 2020. After the keel laying, the next milestone will be the float-out of the vessel in summer 2021. The delivery of MyStar is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2022. In total, the shipbuilding project is worth around EUR 250 million.
The keel laying ceremony is available for viewing here.
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
Due to the economical uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic the Australian TT-Line Company Pty. Ltd has withdrawn from the Memorandum of Understanding with Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC). The memorandum concerning the project was signed in February this year.
TT-Line Company withdrew from the project according to the decision made by the Tasmanian Shareholding Ministers. Production of the new fast ro-pax ferries was scheduled to commence in Rauma at the beginning of 2021.
– Regretfully TT-Line Company has informed us, that they have decided to withdraw from the MOU and postpone signing any Shipbuilding Contracts with reference to the present economic outlook due to the COVID19 pandemic. The situation is naturally unfortunate for RMC, but we are pleased to say that the withdrawal does not cause any immediate re-structuring at RMC, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC.
– We are always ready to continue the negotiations with TT-Line Company when the shipbuilding project is topical again, Heinimaa continues.
– It has been a pleasure to work with RMC and it is unfortunate that in the current economic climate we have to step away from what we believe would have been a fruitful three years’ partnership, says Bernard Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer, TT-Line Company.
RMC is currently building the Aurora Botnia car and passenger ferry for Wasaline, a vessel which will operate between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden. In addition, production of the shuttle ferry MyStar for Tallink Grupp, Estonia, started at the Rauma shipyard in April. Furthermore, last autumn, RMC signed a Contract with the Finnish Navy regarding the construction of four multi-role corvettes.
– The execution of the projects under construction and the planning of the four multi-role corvettes will continue at Rauma shipyard as planned. RMC will also focus on new and alternative prospects with attractive delivery slots, Heinimaa continues.
The construction of the main engines for Tallink’s new shuttle ferry, MyStar, is underway at Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) shipyard in Rauma. The first main engine has been successfully completed and tested at the factory. The main engines have a dual-fuel solution, and are manufactured by the German company MAN Energy Solutions.
The high-speed shuttle ferry, MyStar, which will operate between Helsinki and Tallinn, will be one of the most environmentally friendly ships in the Baltic Sea. The dual fuel-equipped main engines are the most important technological solution ensuring the ship’s environmental friendliness and energy efficiency. The rated power of one main engine is 8,400 kW, or 11,265 horsepower (hp). In total, the ship will have five 8-cylinder main engines.
MyStar will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its primary fuel, a fuel with low emissions. In the future, it will also be possible to use biogas as fuel when it becomes a viable alternative. The vessel’s advanced electric propulsion system allows the ship to be operated energy-efficiently in all situations at speeds of up to 27 knots.
– We want to be at the forefront of developing environmentally friendly shipping by introducing comprehensive technological solutions. The main engines of MyStar, now under construction, can be started with liquefied natural gas. Therefore, the consumption of diesel fuel is also as low as possible when starting the engines, which reduces emissions significantly, says RMC’s President and CEO Jyrki Heinimaa.
– Captain Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik, Head of Ship Management at Tallink Grupp commented: “Tallink Grupp is continuously looking for ways to bring innovative and green solutions to both the Baltic Sea and to shipping in general. When complete, MyStar will be the second LNG-powered shuttle vessel added to our fleet, operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route. It is great to work with companies like MAN Energy Solutions who also have innovation and environmentally friendly solutions at the heart of their business. Together we can work towards achieving sustainable shipping goals and meet all current and future regulations while ensuring a lower impact on the environment.”
The production of the car and passenger ferry MyStar began at Rauma shipyard on April 6, 2020. MyStar is currently the largest ship under construction there. The vessel will be about 212 meters long and will have a gross tonnage of approximately 50,000. It will be able to accommodate around 3,000 passengers and crew members, and will have a freight capacity of 1,900 lane meters for lorries and other vehicles. The ferry will provide over 1,500 person-years of employment for the shipyard. MyStar will operate between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia. The building project will consider the vessel’s operating profile, efficient functionality for large numbers of passengers and vehicles, as well as passenger comfort.
The steel cutting of MyStar was recorded and can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/400237809
A new appointment to the Rauma Marine Constructions Oy management team came into force on May 1, 2020.
Mika Laurilehto, M.Sc. (Tech) has been appointed as the company’s Chief Sales Officer and member of the Management Team. Laurilehto transferred to the role of Sales Director from the German shipbuilding company MV Werften, where he worked in a managerial position overseeing project and network development, and design and engineering. Prior to this he served as the Managing Director of the ship design company Deltamarin.
Despite the exceptional circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, the construction of the Aurora Botnia, Wasaline’s new car and passenger ferry, is progressing according to schedule.
“We are starting to put together the last blocks and the construction of the hull, as well as the fitting of the machine rooms and car decks, is proceeding at a rapid pace. A total of seven of Aurora Botnia’s blocks will be delivered from Gdansk in Poland, of which three arrived at the end of April. We are currently fitting the blocks that were delivered,” says Johanna Kaijo, Project Manager of the newbuilding NB6002.
Construction of the cabins has also begun in Rauma. The vessel’s bow gate will be delivered to the shipyard in August, along with other equipment including side doors and a moving car deck.
In addition to RMC’s own staff, there are approximately 400 persons from RMC’s network, representing some ten different nationalities, working on the Wasaline project. The COVID-19 situation has posed additional challenges to the staffing of extra and rotating employees.
“We hope that the decisions made by the Finnish government on Monday, May 4, regarding the ease of labour movement will help this situation,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
“Our vessel will be the world’s most environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry. It has been a pleasure to follow its construction and to witness how well the project has been advancing. The excellent degree of cooperation between the shipyard and its subcontractors is evident at all stages and the construction is going forward according to schedule despite the challenges,” comments Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.
The next significant phase in the construction of Aurora Botnia is the launch of the vessel in the autumn.
Rauma Marine Constructions continues to design and build ships despite the global coronavirus pandemic. The production of Tallink’s new shuttle ferry MyStar began at Rauma shipyard on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Tallink’s new car and passenger ferry will be the largest ship built at the Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) shipyard in Rauma, Finland yet. Making use of cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions, the ship will be energy efficient and will have a dual-fuel solution that can use liquified natural gas (LNG), a fuel with lower emissions. The vessel’s advanced, certified electric propulsion system allows the ship to operate energy-efficiently in all circumstances at speeds of up to 27 knots.
“We are proud to start the construction of MyStar, a new vessel which continues the tradition of building ships with our important customer, Tallink Grupp. This will be the seventh ferry built for Tallink at Rauma. Together, we are developing increasingly environmentally friendly shipping between Finland and Estonia,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of RMC.
RMC aims to be the leading builder of car and passenger ferries in Europe. According to Heinimaa, building Tallink’s vessel supports this objective.
Tallink MyStar is valued at around EUR 250 million. The vessel will be approximately 212 metres long and will have a gross tonnage of approximately 50,000. It will be able to accommodate around 3,000 passengers and crew members in total, and will have a freight capacity of 1,900 lane metres for lorries and other vehicles. The ferry will provide over 1,500 person-years of employment for the shipyard. MyStar will operate between Helsinki, Finland, and Tallinn, Estonia. The building project will consider the vessel’s operating profile, efficient functionality for large numbers of passengers and vehicles, as well as passenger comfort.
Economies rely on shipping
“The world around us has recently changed beyond recognition and all around us we only see shut-downs, challenges and closure. Our group, too, is facing challenges, but we are working hard to get through the current situation and are continuing to focus on the future. And one of the key future projects already underway before the crisis was the construction project of our new shuttle, MyStar – one of the most eco-friendly ships on the Baltic Sea. I am therefore pleased to say today that we are able to start this new project in cooperation with our long-standing partner, Rauma shipyard,” said Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp.
“During this intense challenging period, we see, more than ever, how much our economies rely on dependable, sustainable and eco-friendly ships, and the importance of vital shipping routes remaining open. At Tallink, this makes our commitment to building and operating the most innovative and most sustainable ships on the Baltic sea even stronger,” Nõgene stated.
Rauma shipyard is taking action to prevent the spread of the coronavirus
Rauma shipyard has taken sizeable measures to maintain operations and to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. Personnel and network partners are actively informed, more work is done remotely, online workspaces are being developed and personnel are supported in a challenging situation. Cleanliness and tidiness are emphasised throughout the company. In production, the focus is on developing safe ways of working in close cooperation with network partners.
“Our primary objective is to ensure the health and safety of our personnel and partners. We are also aiming to minimise the impact the coronavirus will have on our production and finances. There is plenty of work to be done, as long as employees and materials can move. The shipyard is in full swing,” says Jyrki Heinimaa.
Photo: The production of RMC’s newbuilding NB6003 Tallink MyStar started today at Rauma Shipyard. RMC’s President and CEO Jyrki Heinimaa and project manager Marko Paloluoto started the production with traditional steel cutting.
Rauma Marine Constructions’ (RMC) order book surpassed EUR 1 billion in 2019. The Finnish marine industry is doing well: revenue increased by nearly 10% in 2018. The Rauma shipyard is currently constructing car and passenger ferries, and government vessels, but the shipyard might also become involved in the renewing of the fleet of icebreakers operating in the Gulf of Bothnia. One option for renewing the fleet would be a joint effort between Finland and Sweden, as the two countries share the sea-lanes where ice needs to be broken for winter navigation.
Business is booming at the Rauma shipyard. According to Timo Suistio, Deputy CEO, RMC, the 2020s will be a decade of car and passenger (RoPax) ferries and government vessels.
RMC’s order book contains two RoPax ferries and four multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces. Additionally, RMC and Australian TT-Line Company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding for two new car and passenger ferries, which will operate under the brand Spirit of Tasmania.
Furthermore, Finland and Sweden’s potential joint effort to replace the icebreakers operating in the Gulf of Bothnia was discussed at a seminar on current affairs organised by RMC for its stakeholders on Tuesday, 3 March.
“The production status at the Rauma shipyard would enable us to build icebreakers for Finland and Sweden. I see this as a big opportunity to develop the Finnish Maritime Cluster, especially in terms of innovation,” says Suistio.
Icebreakers could be replaced in cooperation with Sweden
Innovativeness is the Finnish marine industry’s best asset in international markets. The industry’s targets for reducing carbon emissions, for example, has created a high demand for innovative thinking.
“There are 14 environmentally-friendly vessels under construction in Finland. This trend will grow globally as well, which will create an abundance of opportunities for us,” says Tiina Tuurnala, CEO, Finnish Shipowners’ Association.
Sweden is now planning to renew its fleet of icebreakers. In Sweden, it is thought that the new vessels must meet the strict climate targets set for the 2050s. However, there are currently no existing solutions for such vessels that could help reach these future emission targets.
“We need to develop new solutions. In Finland, public procurements have always been spearheads for industrial innovations and success,” states Mikko Niini, Chairman of the Board, RMC.
Niini underscores the need for cooperation between Finland and Sweden in procuring new icebreakers because the two countries have already agreed to cooperate in matters related to icebreaking. The countries made the agreement in the 1970s, when they decided to maintain fairways free of ice to enable winter navigation in the Bay of Bothnia.
“Sweden is already moving ahead with its icebreaker project. It’s time for Finland to plan and decide on the key players and the schedule for the procurement. The Rauma shipyard is fully prepared to lead the icebreaker project and carry it out together with our network,” says Niini.
The Finnish Maritime Cluster’s revenue is expected to soon surpass EUR 15 billion
According to Tapio Karvonen, Senior Researcher at the University of Turku’s Brahea Centre, the Finnish Maritime Cluster’s key figures for 2018 reveal that the marine industry is booming. The Maritime Cluster’s revenue surpassed EUR 14 billion in 2018.
“We don’t have the numbers for 2019 yet, but the strong growth suggests that the revenue will exceed EUR 15 billion,” adds Karvonen.
Most of the Maritime Cluster’s revenue was generated by marine industry players, whose total revenue was slightly above EUR 9 billion. The marine industry grew 9.8% from 2017. With an average of 30% growth, the seven largest shipyards in Finland grew even faster.
The marine industry employed more than 30,000 people in 2018, which is an increase of 5.6% from 2017.
“Shipyards and other marine industry players have a remarkable economic impact on Finland in terms of both revenue and employment. The impact has grown fast in recent years, and the growth continues. Moreover, this is not just a regional phenomenon, but the impact can be seen across the country,” says Karvonen.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and Australian TT-Line Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on two fast car and passenger ferries. The Project will have an impact on employment totalling around 3,500 person-years, and the construction work will start at the beginning of 2021.
”We are proud and grateful of the trust TT-Line Company has shown us. We believe that with this new partnership, we can serve our customer in a way that results in a world-class car and passenger ferry solution for TT-Line Company’s business. Through this Memorandum of Understanding, RMC can move strongly forward on its planned growth path, and can increase the building of large car and passenger ferries in Rauma. This signifies a steady growth for the shipbuilding industry in Finland,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC.
The vessels will be built at Rauma shipyard and delivered to the customer in Tasmania, Australia, at the end of 2022 and 2023. The vessels set to operate under the brand Spirit of Tasmania will replace the existing vessels, Spirit of Tasmania I and II (ex. Superfast III and Superfast IV), built in Turku, Finland in 1998. The new ferries will accommodate 1,800 passengers and will have an approximate gross tonnage of 48,000. The ferries are set to operate in challenging conditions on the Melbourne, Australia – Devonport, Tasmania route.
“Building these vessels is a natural continuation to the similarly sized MyStar, which we are building for Tallink Grupp. During the next few months, TT-Line Company and RMC are working in close cooperation to finalise the contract for the construction of the vessels. The design of the vessels will begin in the autumn of this year. The building of the vessels will begin in early 2021, and they will be made side-by-side with the multi-role corvettes for the Finnish Navy,” explains Heinimaa.
The construction of the vessels will have a substantial impact on employment, totalling around 3,500 person-years. RMC will also strengthen its organisation and recruit more talent in all phases of the shipbuilding process.
“On top of our own personnel, we will continuously strengthen our cooperation network. Our long-term partnerships can cover diverse sectors of shipbuilding from designing to finishing,” emphasises Heinimaa.
In February, RMC together with Wasaline, celebrated the keel laying of the Aurora Botnia car and passenger ferry. When completed, the vessel will operate between Vaasa and Umeå. The building of Tallink’s new shuttleferry MyStar, which will operate between Helsinki and Tallin, will begin construction in April 2020 at the Rauma shipyard. Last autumn, RMC also signed a deal with the Finnish Defence Forces to deliver four multi-role corvettes by 2026.
A traditional ceremony was held to celebrate the keel laying of Rauma Marine Constructions’ newbuilding, NB6002 for Wasaline, on Thursday February 13 at the Rauma shipyard. The vessel, which will be named Aurora Botnia, will be delivered to the operator, Wasaline, in spring 2021. The new ferry 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.
The first keel-block of the new vessel was laid into Rauma shipyard’s dry dock today. The block weights approximately 210 tonnes. Laying down the keel is an important milestone in shipbuilding, and it’s often considered as the birth of the ship. Traditionally, lucky coins are placed under the keel. This time, the lucky coins were Swedish crowns and Finnish euros.
The new car and passenger ferry was ordered by Kvarken Link, a company owned by the city of Vaasa and the municipality of Umeå (Umeå Kommunföretag AB). The ferry will accommodate 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for cargo. The ferry will replace Wasa Express, which now operates between Vaasa and Umeå.
The construction of the ship started in September 2019, and the next milestone will be the launching of the ship in the autumn this year. The completed vessel will be delivered to its Owner in spring 2021, with the shipbuilding project being worth around 120 million Euro in total.
The most environmentally friendly vessel in its category
The new ferry will be the first ever RoPax ferry with a Clean Design class notation. The vessel will have a hybrid power generation system, as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in car and passenger ferries. The ferry can be considered as the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry under construction at the moment.
The four main engines, supplied by Wärtsilä, will run on both liquified natural gas and liquefied biogas. Thanks to this technology, emissions in the Kvarken region of the Gulf of Bothnia will decrease compared to the emissions from the vessel currently operating there. The ferry can make use of biogas from a plant in Vaasa, which produces gas from recycled materials. When the ferry is approaching the harbour or departing she can operate utilising electrical power from a rather large battery pack.
“RMC wants to be a forerunner in producing holistic solutions with cutting-edge technology. The Clean Design class notation is one example of this. Moreover, we have partnered with Aalto University and agreed on joint research and development efforts,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
“I’m very proud that we have reached this milestone. Laying the keel is an event that we have been looking forward to for some time. Now, we can see years of planning become a reality. This vessel is the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry in the world, its degree of domestic origin is more than 80%, and it employs the most cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology,” says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.
“Being involved in this unique project has been an extraordinary experience. Our ferry is a showcase for the whole shipbuilding cluster across the world and a prime example of what can be achieved through collaboration,” Ståhlberg says.
Today Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) and Aalto University have concluded an agreement on joint research and development efforts. This collaboration aims especially at developing technologies that can improve the environmental and safety aspects of seafaring in order to reduce its carbon footprint, make use of new fuels and further develop maritime safety. University-level expertise is crucial for the future of the entire field.
The agreement draws RMC and Aalto University closer together as partners, and during this year the two will start planning a long-term joint programme on research and development.
Seafaring with more safety and fewer emissions
The programme focuses particularly on developing technologies that can improve the environmental and safety aspects of maritime transport, resulting in reduced carbon footprints, utilisation of new fuels and further developments in vessel safety.
”We wish to remain at the forefront of new development with regard to the construction of passenger car ferries, multipurpose icebreakers and government ships. The environment and safety are absolutely important to us. We are very happy with this collaboration agreement,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, president and chief executive officer of RMC.
Experts of the future are crucial to the maritime sector
Future maritime expertise goes hand in hand with research and education. The agreement marks a rise in the profile of university-level education in the field and thus also helps ensure that the maritime sector will continue to benefit from academically trained experts.
”This agreement will see us continue the close collaboration between the Rauma shipyard and the Otaniemi scientific community that began roughly 40 years ago. The confidence we have built over the years in our joint development work can be put to use as we seek solutions to problems related to ship safety and the environmental impact of ships,” says Professor Pentti Kujala of Aalto University.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and the Finnish Defence Forces have signed the construction agreement regarding the new Pohjanmaa-class corvettes for the Finnish Navy, today, 26 September, 2019. The agreement is valued at EUR 647.6 million.
The construction agreement for the new combat vessels, which was signed in the Finnish city of Turku, includes the final design and construction of four navigable vessels for the Finnish Navy. The hulls of the Pohjanmaa-class vessels will be built by RMC’s subsidiary RMC Defence Oy. The new multipurpose corvettes will replace a large number of the Finnish Navy’s existent fleet, consisting of seven vessels. The corvettes will be capable of engaging in warfare with surface combatants and submarines, taking anti-aircraft measures and commanding maritime operations.
The agreements on the supply and integration of the combat system and the supply of propellers and propeller shafts were also signed alongside the construction agreement. The combat system will be supplied by Swedish Saab AB, and Finnish Aker Arctic Technology Oy will be responsible for the design, supply and integration of the propellers and propeller shafts. RMC will integrate the different systems into the vessels in co-operation with the system suppliers.
“The Squadron 2020 project will truly showcase the expertise within the Finnish maritime sector. RMC is proud to be able to support Finland’s naval defence and security of supply, together with our extensive partner network”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
The design of the new fleet is already in full swing and the shipyard will start building the first corvette in 2022. The multipurpose corvettes will be delivered by 2026 and will be taken into operational use by the Finnish Navy in 2028. The procurement will have an impact on employment in Finland totalling around 3,600 person-years.
Caption: RMC and the Finnish Defence Forces signing the construction agreement for the corvettes. In the photo seated, from left to right: RMC’s vice president Timo Suistio, RMC’s CEO Jyrki Heinimaa, Major General Timo Kakkola, Chief of Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces and commodore Veli-Pekka Heinonen, Chief of the Joint Systems Centre at The Defence Forces Logistics Command. Image: Finnish Defence Forces.
Finnish Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen, along with representatives from the Finnish Defence Forces, visited Rauma shipyard today as guests of Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC). During the visit, Minister Kaikkonen was introduced to the ongoing projects at the shipyard. The parties also discussed the recently confirmed Squadron 2020 project, which was approved by the Finnish government last Thursday, September 19. The project includes the construction of four new multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Navy, all of which will be constructed at Rauma.
Finnish Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen, along with his delegation, visited Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions at Rauma shipyard today, 24 September, 2019. RMC and the Finnish Defence Forces came to an agreement last week regarding the construction of the new fleet for the Finnish Navy. As part of the visit, Minister Kaikkonen and guests received a tour of RMC’s facilities, including the shipyard’s ship block factory, where cruise ship blocks for Turku-based shipyard Meyer Turku are currently being constructed. Following the tour, the parties went on to discuss the Squadron 2020 project, which will replace a large number of the Finnish Navy’s existent fleet, consisting of seven vessels.
“I am very pleased that an agreement has been reached. In terms of security of supply, it is crucial that the vessels are built in Finland. The Rauma shipyard has impressive facilities and the know-how needed to successfully complete this highly demanding order”, says Kaikkonen.
Minister Kaikkonen was joined by his Chief of Staff Jukka Juusti and Lauri Puranen, Director, Strategic Projects Programme at the Ministry of Defence.
Squadron 2020 to employ thousands
The procurement, which was approved by the government a week ago, is valued at approximately EUR 700 million. The design of the new fleet is already in full swing and the shipyard will start building the first corvette in 2022. The multipurpose corvettes will be delivered by 2026 and will be taken into operational use by the Finnish Navy in 2028. The procurement will have an impact on employment totalling around 3,600 person-years.
“Our business model is based on our extensive partner network. The projects that RMC oversees and manages can include up to hundreds of businesses. 80% of our workforce is domestic, which is rare in the Finnish export industry. Through the Squadron 2020 project, we will be able to employ thousands of people through our network”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
RMC’s order book surpasses EUR 1 billion
Rauma Marine Constructions’ order book of commercial civilian projects has grown exponentially, the company is profitable and has displayed strong growth.
“During the past five years, RMC has grown from a small startup to one of the leading expert organisations in the Finnish maritime sector. The order by the Finnish Defence Forces will bring RMC’s order book to over EUR 1 billion. When we count the order from the navy, along with our other confirmed orders this year, our order book will grow over 30,000 per cent”, notes Heinimaa.
RMC and the Defence Forces will formally sign the construction agreement on September 26. The combat system of the corvettes, including weapons and sensors, will be provided by Saab, accompanied by necessary design and installation services by RMC.
Four new multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Navy will be constructed at Rauma shipyard. The design phase will resume with immediate effect and construction of the first vessel will start at the shipyard in 2022. The Finnish Government approved the procurement, valued at approximately EUR 700 million, today, September 19, 2019. Rauma Marine Constructions Oy and the Finnish Defence Forces will formally sign the agreement for the construction of the multipurpose corvettes on September 26, 2019. CEO Jyrki Heinimaa is pleased that Rauma’s long traditions of building Finnish naval ships will continue.
Rauma Marine Constructions Oy and the Finnish Defence Forces have come to an agreement regarding the construction of the new fleet of four multipurpose corvettes for the Finnish Navy. The Squadron 2020 project will replace a large number of the Finnish Navy’s existent fleet, consisting of seven vessels. The Finnish Government approved the procurement contract today, September 19, 2019. The two parties will formally sign the construction agreement on September 26. The combat system, including weapons and sensors, will be provided by Saab, accompanied by necessary design and installation services by RMC.
The multipurpose corvettes will be delivered by 2026 and will be taken into operational use by the Finnish Navy in 2028. The procurement will have a considerable impact on employment, totalling around 3,600 person-years.
“This agreement is significant not only for its effect on local employment and businesses, but also on a national level, since at peak time, the project will employ some 1,000 people. Rauma Marine Constructions is a wholly Finnish-owned shipbuilding company, which continues the city of Rauma’s longstanding traditions of supplying combat vessels for the Finnish Defence Forces. Through this agreement, Finland will once again have a domestically built fleet, which supports our country’s security of supply”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
Furthermore, according to Heinimaa, the project is also vital in strengthening the Finnish maritime industry and research conducted within the industry. RMC has, among other things, invested in production methods for light steel structures for the vessels and the agreement will also include new development and research projects.
“Projects such as Squadron 2020 enable new innovations and technology solutions to be utilised in a broader spectrum within Finnish shipbuilding”, adds Heinimaa.
Due to its strong order book, the shipyard is able to take a leading role in domestic maritime development projects. A good example is the ongoing construction of the new car and passenger ferry for Kvarken Link, which thanks to an array of innovative solutions, is the world’s first car and passenger ferry to be awarded the Clean Design certificate.
During the process of constructing the vessels, the shipyard will also develop the readiness to provide life-cycle services for the vessels following their delivery to the navy.
Ability to accommodate both combat vessels and civilian vessels
The Finnish Defence Forces is an important partner of RMC. In addition, the company’s order book of commercial civilian projects has also grown exponentially, and the company is profitable and has displayed strong growth. The agreement with the Finnish Defence Forces will bring RMC’s order book to over EUR 1 billion and create a positive impact on employment until the year 2026. The work will continue after the delivery as well, through the life-cycle services provided for the vessels.
Due to security reasons the corvettes and the commercial vessels will be built in separate locations at the shipyard. A new car and passenger ferry for the Vaasa-Uumaja route is currently under construction at the shipyard, as well as the planning of the Shuttle ferry for Tallink. RMC also announced its extended cooperation with the Meyer Turku shipyard. The cooperation has included construction blocks for cruise ships for the Turku-based shipyard and is now continuing, with RMC acquiring a licence to use the planning materials of the Shuttle’s sister ship, MS Megastar, from Meyer Turku. The materials will be used in planning the new ferry.
“Our shipyard is well equipped to handle the construction of both the civil and the governmental vessels simultaneously, which has also been successfully done in the past at Rauma shipyard. The Squadron 2020 project will naturally have its separate security arrangements and the construction is fully separated from the commercial civilian shipbuilding also through internal organisational arrangements”, notes Heinimaa.
As part of the project, the owners of RMC and the Finnish Defence Forces will also sign an agreement. The owners are committed to the project.
“We are happy that our owners have been behind this project since the beginning”, says Mikko Niini, chairman of the board at RMC.
Image: Finnish Defence Forces.
Construction of a new ferry commissioned by Finnish-Swedish consortium Kvarken Link has begun with a traditional starting ceremony at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. The car and passenger ferry, set to operate between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå, will employ a hybrid power generation system, as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in car and passenger ferries, which will make the vessel the most environmentally friendly RoPax ferry under construction in the world.
The construction of a new car and passenger ferry has begun at Rauma Marine Constructions’ shipyard. The start of production was accompanied by a traditional steel cutting ceremony at the shipyard on Monday September 16, 2019. The ferry, commissioned by Finnish-Swedish consortium Kvarken Link, will operate in the Gulf of Bothnia between the city of Vaasa in Finland and city of Umeå in Sweden. Kvarken Link is owned by the City of Vaasa and the municipality of Umeå. The ferry will accommodate approximately 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for lorries. The outfitting design of the vessel will be carried out simultaneously with the construction. The vessel will be highly environmentally friendly and it will be the first RoPax ferry globally to be awarded with a Clean Design certificate.
“The new ferry will be the most environmentally friendly vessel in its category so far. The vessel’s machinery will run on a dual fuel solution: besides liquefied natural gas, it can also be operated using biogas produced in the city of Vaasa. In addition, when the vessel is approaching the harbour, the main engines of the vessel can be switched off and the vessel can operate during the remaining distance utilising battery power”, explains Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
The ferry will have the class notation Clean Design, which is awarded by the internationally accredited registrar DNV GL. This supports RMC’s aim to contribute to the development of the maritime industry in utilising cleaner energy options and technology solutions.
The steel cutting ceremony will be followed by the launch of the vessel, currently planned for early 2020. The vessel will be delivered to its owner during spring 2021.
Outlook for the current year is good
The new ferry for Kvarken Link is the second biggest vessel currently being worked on at the RMC shipyard. The new Shuttle ferry for Estonian shipping company Tallink will be significantly larger in size. The planning and design phase of the ferry for Tallink will continue alongside the construction of the Kvarken Link ferry, which will have a substantial effect on employment, totalling around 800 person-years. At its peak, the vessel will employ some 500 people.
“RMC’s aim is to be the leading provider of car and passenger ferries in Europe. The ferries for Kvarken Link and Tallink will provide a solid base for this mission. These two ferries, alongside other projects, are indeed keeping us quite busy at the moment, with the financial outlook for the year looking promising. Naturally, we will also continue to look for new potential ship orders alongside the current orders entering into production,” says Heinimaa.
The new ferry will replace the Wasa Express ferry operated by Wasaline. Once completed, the ferry will operate daily across the Gulf of Bothnia.
Image: Tomas Häyry, Mayor of the City of Vasa, at the steel cutting ceremony for the new Vaasa-Umeå ferry. Image rights: RMC.
The cooperation between ship building company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and Meyer Turku will continue. The new Tallink Shuttle ferry is the latest order from Rauma shipyard. RMC has acquired a licence to use the planning materials of the Shuttle’s sister ship, MS Megastar, from Meyer Turku, and the materials will be used in planning the new ferry. The new shuttle will be more environmentally friendly than its predecessors, and it will be handed over to Tallink in early 2022.
In March 2019, Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) and AS Tallink Grupp agreed on building a new Tallink Shuttle. For the planning phase of the project, RMC has acquired a licence to use the planning materials of MS Megastar, the Shuttle’s sister ship with similar basic features. Built at Meyer’s Turku shipyard, MS Megastar was delivered to Tallink at the beginning of 2017. Smooth cooperation is essential to the success of the Finnish Maritime Cluster, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
“Besides RMC and Meyer Turku, the whole maritime industry and Finland as a country will benefit from this cooperation. We are very happy about collaborating with Meyer. This joint effort allows us to plan and build the new Shuttle in a cost-efficient way, using solutions that have already proven to work well”, Heinimaa says.
The cooperation between Rauma Marine Constructions and Meyer Turku began in summer 2018, when Meyer Turku placed an order from RMC for two blocks for the hull of the cruise ship Costa Smeralda. The companies have since signed more agreements on building several additional blocks. All in all, 12 hotel area blocks have been or will be built for cruise ships owned by Costa Cruises or Carnival Cruise Lines.
“Promoting the ship building industry in Finland is important to us. Our earlier cooperation with RMC has been successful, and this is a natural way to continue working together”, says Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
The new energy efficient Tallink Shuttle ferry is the largest ship ordered from Rauma Marine Constructions, and the vessel is valued at about EUR 250 million. The new shuttle ferry will be approximately 212 metres long, and it will be able to accommodate 2,800 passengers.
Altogether, four ships have been built for Tallink Grupp at Rauma shipyard, and two more have been planned in Rauma. The previous ship built in Rauma for Tallink Grupp, Baltic Queen, was delivered in 2009 and now operates between Tallinn and Stockholm.
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne and his delegation visited Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) at the Rauma shipyard on Friday, 9 August, 2019. The honorary guests visited, among other places, the shipyard’s ship block factory, where cruise ship blocks for Turku-based shipyard Meyer Turku are currently being constructed. During the visit, Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC, reminded the guests of the importance of cooperation within the Finnish maritime industry and the benefits it brings for both the parties involved, as well as for the country as a whole.
“We are very pleased to welcome Prime Minister Rinne as our guest to the shipyard. We have some busy but exciting times ahead of us, with planning the design of both the new Shuttle ferry for Tallink, as well as the Vaasa-Umeå ferry for Wasaline. We are happy to showcase the rise of the shipyard also in practice to our honorary guests,” said Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
Building ship blocks for Turku-based shipyard Meyer Turku’s upcoming cruise ship, Costa Smeralda, has also kept RMC busy during the summer. According to Heinimaa, cooperation remains a vital success factor for the Finnish maritime industry, with the maritime cluster being a significant source of employment, especially in the south west region of Finland. The construction of the car and passenger ferry for Wasaline will commence in mid-September and the construction of the ferry for Tallink in March 2020.
During his visit, Prime Minister Rinne expressed his contentment with the growing Finnish maritime industry and the positive outlook for the industry.
“I am pleased with the visit and what I have seen here at RMC today. It has been great to witness that shipbuilding is definitely not an industry in decline,” Prime Minister Rinne stated at the end of his visit.
In addition to the Prime Minister, the honorary guests included the Mayor of the city of Rauma, Kari Koski, the chairman of the city government, Kalle Leppikorpi, the Region Mayor of the Satakunta region, Asko Aro-Heinilä, and Member of Parliament, Kristiina Salonen.
Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has been granted the ISO 14001 (Environmental management) and ISO 45001 (Occupational health and safety) certifications. The achievement is a testament to the company’s emphasis on socially responsible behaviour. RMC considers environmental and occupational health and safety aspects in all its operations and fulfils requirements as set by the standard. In practice, this includes a proactive stance on occupational health and safety measures, as well as on minimising non-recyclable waste.
On Monday 10 June, 2019, Rauma Marine Constructions received the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certifications for the company’s commitment to environmental management and occupational health and safety. RMC was previously granted the ISO 9001:2015 certificate, demonstrating the company’s quality management and quality assurance.
The requirements included in the standard extend to all areas of operations, from vessel design to construction, as well as management and leadership.
“Achieving certifications always requires a great effort and is a noteworthy achievement,” states Janne Hihnala, Lead Welding Auditor, Bureau Veritas.
“These certifications demonstrate that RMC’s operations adhere to a socially responsible standard throughout the entire organisation and tools for the managing and controlling of everyday operations have been created on the basis of the standards,” continues Hihnala.
Emphasis on environment and health and safety above all
“In practice, being ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified means that RMC considers the environment along with sustainable development, for example by minimising landfill waste and ensuring safe working conditions together with its partner companies,” says Jarkko Merilä, QHSE Manager, Rauma Marine Constructions.
“In addition to the ISO 14001 standard, RMC also adheres to the environmental requirements set by Rauman Meriteollisuuskiinteistöt Oy (the company that oversees the properties located at the Seaside Industry Park). Furthermore, in addition to the requirements included in the standard, we also assess the environmental risks of our own operations, as well as those of our partner companies which may have an impact on us,” Merilä adds.
Considerable emphasis is also placed on the health and safety of RMC’s personnel, as well as other stakeholders. For example, all visitors are obliged to wear protective equipment around the production area and guided safety tours are carried out together with network partners.
“Ensuring safe working conditions at the shipyard is of utmost importance to RMC. This includes providing safety tours aimed at proactively preventing any accidents and ensuring safe working conditions, along with an ongoing active process to further develop safety measures at the shipyard. We always strive to detect any safety-related issues proactively and avoid accidents altogether. We have drafted an occupational healthcare action plan, along with an occupational safety and health action programme together with personnel representatives, occupational safety representatives and occupational healthcare representatives,” says Merilä.
Aim of continuous improvement
Being granted the certifications also means that the company has a plan to continuously improve operations moving forward. Achieving the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certifications was included in the company’s strategy for the year 2019. RMC was previously granted the ISO 9001:2015 certificate.
“A certified system ensures that a high standard is met concerning our new builds, maintenance and conversion projects, and steel work for our customers. The certifications verify the reliability of our current system. Our customers can be certain that operational environmental risks concerning both the acquisition of equipment and production are minimised and constantly monitored. In addition, the environmental awareness and expertise of our personnel is key to the development work, which is also something we will place great emphasis on in the future,” concludes Merilä.
- ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system, created by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).
- It is a tool for the management of environmental issues and a result-oriented development of actions
- The standard is based on the PDCA model (plan, do, check, act), which emphasises the systematic planning of operations, management, measuring and improving. It implements environmental issues to be an integral part of an organisation’s operations and aims to continuously improve operations.
- ISO 45001 is an International Standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, created by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO).
- It is a tool to improve occupational health and safety, minimise occupational risks and create healthier and safer working conditions.
- The ISO 45001 standard is also based on the PDCA model.
Rauma Marine Constructions has signed an agreement with their partner network for the delivery of a power system for the new Wasaline ferry, set to operate in the Gulf of Bothnia between the city of Vaasa in Finland and city of Umeå in Sweden. The vessel will employ a hybrid power generation system as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in RoPax ferries, which will improve its environmental efficiency. The systems will be provided by a network of companies operating in the Vaasa area – including ABB, WE Tech, VEO, and Danfoss/Vacon.
The construction agreement for the new, environmentally friendly RoPax ferry was signed between Kvarken Link, owned by the City of Vaasa and the municipality of Umeå, and the Finnish company Rauma Marine Constructions in January. The company has now agreed on the delivery of the power generation system of the vessel, set to operate between the city of Vaasa in Finland and city of Umeå in Sweden, with its partner network. Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, is happy to see the growth in marine technology in the Rauma area reflecting positively also along the rest of the west coast of Finland.
“A wide network of partners is very important to RMC – we could not operate without it. We are very happy to participate in building this new, environmentally friendly vessel together with our partners in the Vaasa region.”
The new vessel will replace M/S Wasa Express, delivered in 1981, in Wasaline’s service across the Gulf of Bothnia. The vessel will be equipped with an electric propulsion system, designed specifically for vessels with a high ice class. Electric propulsion systems are rare in RoPax ferries, which usually are equipped with propulsion machinery that consist of conventional diesel driven propellers through shaft lines and rudders. The new Wasaline ferry will be equipped with azimuthing propellers of Azipod type. They are rather common in cruise ships and provided by ABB. Further they enable safer and faster manoeuvering, as well as lower propeller induced vibrations and noise compared to traditional diesel driven propulsion machinery.
Reduced emissions due to new technology
The hybrid power solution for the vessel will be created together with RMC’s technology partner WE Tech Solutions Oy. The electric main switchboards will be provided by VEO, the propulsion drive system with a novel frequency converter solution will be manufactured by Danfoss/Vacon, the energy storage system with Li-Ion battery packages will be provided by Leclanché, and WEG will manufacture the generators. The energy storage system is dimensioned for the vessel’s operation in the harbour without using main engines. This means that the propulsion and the ship’s general power are battery driven. The energy storage system is charged from shore power, which is also used for the vessel’s other power needs during the stay at the harbour. Currently, most vessels use diesel generators during the entire stay at the harbour, which increases harmful emissions.
The power for the propulsors is generated by an integrated system solution, which can utilise the dual-fuel engines or the energy storage system chargeable from shore power. The main source of fuel for the highly efficient dual-fuel engines, provided by Wärtsilä, is liquefied natural gas. They can also run on biogas. This will significantly reduce the vessel’s emissions.
“The vessel’s propulsion solution with battery technology represents the latest design for emission reduction in marine transport. As an example, when the vessel is approaching the harbour, the main engines of the vessel can be switched off and the vessel can operate the remaining distance utilising battery power. This enables the vessel to arrive at the harbour with no further emissions,” explains Peter Ståhlberg, CEO of Wasaline.
The new ferry is scheduled for delivery in April 2021 and it will operate daily between Vaasa and Umeå.
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and AS Tallink Grupp have announced that the construction agreement for a new shuttle ferry servicing the Helsinki–Tallinn route will enter into force today. The design of the vessel will begin this spring, with the expected delivery of the vessel in early 2022. The agreement marks RMC’s second car and passenger ferry order this year.
Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), and AS Tallink Grupp, have announced that the construction agreement for the new shuttle ferry, set to operate on the Helsinki–Tallinn route will enter into force today. The parties signed the letter of intent in October 2018.
The ferry is the biggest vessel yet to be built by Rauma Marine Constructions, and is valued at about EUR 250 million. The new shuttle ferry will be approximately 212 metres long and have a gross tonnage of approximately 50,000. It will be able to accommodate 2,800 passengers. The ferry will provide over 1,500 man-years of employment for the shipyard.
The vessel will utilise the newest technology and innovative solutions, with the aim of building the most environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient vessel possible. This includes machines that will run on a dual fuel and option for a battery solution, with the main source of fuel being low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“We are very pleased to have secured this order. The modern and environmentally-friendly vessel supports RMC’s aim to be a leading car and passenger ferry provider. The vessel is set to be delivered to the customer in the beginning of 2022, which means we have work secured at the shipyard for a long time ahead. We are also excited to see Tallink returning to Rauma, where four ferries for Tallink have been built previously”, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.
Compared to Tallink’s newest shuttle ferry Megastar, which also operates between Helsinki and Tallinn, the new ferry will have an increased passenger area with more seating, as well as more crew cabins. From a technical standpoint, the ferry will have powerful shore connection equipment and will also be equipped with LNG fuel tanks approximately one third bigger than Megastar. Furthermore, the new enhanced design will allow the ferry’s CO2 emissions to be reduced by 10 per cent.
“We are pleased to have signed the construction contract with RMC, thus supporting also our regional economies due to the construction taking place in Rauma, and we look forward to starting the shipbuilding process. We are confident the new vessel will enhance our operations on the important Tallinn–Helsinki route even further,” Paavo Nõgene, CEO of AS Tallink Grupp said.
Rauma Marine Constructions is currently also working on another car and passenger ferry. In January, the shipbuilding company signed a construction agreement for a car and passenger ferry servicing the Vaasa–Umeå route, together with Kvarken Link. Due to the growing number of orders, RMC and its network partners need to increase the workforce at the shipyard, with additional recruitments taking place on a continuous basis.
Rauma Marine Constructions and Kvarken Link, who have commissioned the vessel, signed a letter of intent concerning the vessel one week ago (11.1.19). The following construction agreement was reached quickly and both parties thank the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Ministry of Finance for enabling the quick execution of the agreement.
Rauma Marine Constructions and Kvarken Link have signed a construction agreement for a car and passenger ferry, set to operate between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. Following the agreement, the planning of the vessel can begin with immediate effect.
“We reached an agreement in a little over a week after signing the letter of intent. Now begins the real work. We would like to express our appreciation to the ministers and officials at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Ministry of Finance, for their role in making this project a reality,” states Jyrki Heinimaa, Chief Executive Officer, RMC.
The ferry will be completed in 2021 and will operate daily between Vaasa and Umeå. Kvarken Link, who have commissioned the vessel, are owned by the city of Umeå and the city of Vaasa, both of whom serve as guarantors of the financing.
The vessel order, with an approximate value of EUR 120 million, will have a positive impact on employment, totaling around 800 person-years. The ferry will accommodate approximately 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane meters for lorries. The vessel will be designed to be environmentally friendly, with machinery running on a dual fuel solution: besides liquefied natural gas it can also be operated using biogas. The ferry has an ice class of 1A Super, in order to guarantee that the vessel is able to navigate as independently as possible in the challenging ice conditions that are a feature of the Kvarken region.
During autumn 2018, Rauma Marine Constructions also signed letters of intent regarding both a new ferry for Tallink, to operate the Helsinki-Tallinn route, and four combat vessels, as part of the Squadron2020 project.
Due to the growing number of orders, RMC has increased their workforce at the shipyard. Additional recruitments will take place in the near future.
Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has signed its third letter of intent within a short period of time. The newest letter of intent concerns a car and passenger ferry set to operate between the Finnish city of Vaasa and the Swedish city of Umeå. The vessel order, with a value of approximately EUR 120 million, will have an impact on employment totalling around 800 person-years. The formal construction agreement is to be signed in early 2019, with the design and construction work set to start immediately thereafter, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO of RMC.
”RMC won the public international tender thanks to our expert knowledge and technology. RMC specialises in the design and construction of car and passenger ferries. We are therefore both pleased and proud to have showcased our competence in this area. We are also very grateful for the confidence that the customer has shown in RMC, having commissioned this ferry from us.”
The vessel order comes at an appropriate time for RMC, seeing as the design and construction will mainly be carried out before the construction of the Tallink Shuttle-vessel begins. The letter of intent for the ferry was signed in October last year.
Vessel running on gas and biogas
The ferry, commissioned by Kvarken Link, will accommodate some 800 passengers and has a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for lorries. The vessel will be designed to be environmentally friendly, with a machinery running on a dual fuel and battery solution, and the main source of fuel being liquefied natural gas. The vessel will also be able to utilise, for example, biogas produced in Vaasa.
Car and passenger ferry M/S Hammershus, commissioned by Danish ferry operator Molslinjen, is RMC’s first newbuilding vessel and began operating in September. In comparison to Hammershus, the new ferry between Vaasa and Umeå will be more comprehensively outfitted; it will house more cabin space, as well as a more varied restaurant offering, to name just a few extra touches.
The ferry has an ice class of 1A Super, in order to guarantee that the vessel is able to navigate in the challenging ice conditions of the Kvarken region as independently as possible. RMC’s aim is to ensure the reliability of its vessels in all operating conditions.
Kvarken Link is owned by the city of Umeå and the city of Vaasa, both of whom serve as guarantors of the financing.
Rauma Marine Constructions, which operates from Rauma Shipyard, has seen rapid growth. During autumn, the shipbuilding company has signed letters of intent regarding both a new ferry for Tallink to operate the Helsinki-Tallinn route, and four combat vessels, as part of the Squadron2020 project. In addition, RMC is also currently building blocks for a cruise ship at Turku Shipyard.
Due to the growing number of orders, RMC has actively been recruiting new workforce for the shipyard. The recruitment efforts will continue in the near future, with the aim being to recruit both nationally as well as internationally.
Further photos from the RMC shipyard: https://rmcfinland.fi/contact/media/
Attached Kvarken Link’s pressrelease: Press release 20190111 Final ENG
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command have signed a letter of intent on the main principles and conditions for the construction of four corvettes for the Finnish Navy. Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC, expressed satisfaction regarding the progress, while emphasizing the capacity of Rauma shipyard to construct both commercial vessels, and corvettes for the Finnish Defence Forces.
The Finnish Defence Forces announced the agreement last week and the signing took place early this week, November 2018. The parties have agreed on the price of the vessels, the timetable for the delivery, allocation of responsibilities and issues concerning risk management, amongst other things.
Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, RMC, is pleased that the letter of intent has been signed, as it represents a long-awaited decision, following detailed negotiations between the parties.
“Rauma is a traditional place for building Finnish naval ships. As a Finnish company, we are proud of the trust we have gained and that we have the honor to continue this tradition. We have also strengthened our organization in recent years and will continue to do so in order to ensure that RMC has the best and most experienced core of specialists in Europe, especially for these types of projects.”
In 2017, Rauma Marine Constructions received authorization from the Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command to execute a significant share of the basic design of the multi-function corvettes. The rest of the design will be implemented after the vessels’ main equipment has been tendered and selected. The contract for the construction of the vessels will be signed in early 2019.
In further news, in October, RMC and Tallink also announced a letter of intent for a new high-speed car and passenger ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn. According to Heinimaa, the shipyard is equipped to fit several different projects simultaneously.
“Tallink’s car and passenger ship will be delivered at the end of 2021, and the construction of the corvettes will begin in 2020 and last until 2027. The commercial vessels and the corvettes are built alongside one another, but kept completely separate, not least for security reasons,” Heinimaa emphasizes.
Rauma Marine Constructions is currently seeking more employees, as the company expects to grow significantly in the coming years due to its new orders. The company aims to become a world-leading shipyard.
AS Tallink Grupp and Finnish shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) have signed a letter of intent to build an environmentally friendly car and passenger ferry for the scheduled service between Tallinn and Helsinki. The ship, with a value of approximately 250 million euros, will be built at Rauma shipyard. Along with signing the letter of intent, RMC will also strengthen its organization and recruit more talent.
The planning of the Tallink Shuttle ship, which will operate on the Helsinki-Tallinn route, will start in spring 2019 and building will commence in 2020. The vessel will be delivered to Tallink at the end of 2021. The new vessel is the biggest newbuild order as of yet for RMC. The passenger capacity of the ship will be 2,800 people. The newest technology and innovative solutions will be utilized in the design phase to ensure that the vessel will be as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.
The letter of intent is significant for RMC, and recruitment of more employees is already underway, says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
“This is outstanding news for shipbuilding in Rauma. RMC’s four-year journey has been consistent and the letter of intent with Tallink represents a natural continuation of our development. The order’s impact on employment will total around 1,500 person-years. We will hence recruit a significant amount of new talent to Rauma shipyard in the near future.”
Rauma shipyard has built a total of four vessels for Tallink Grupp over the years. In addition, two more vessels have been designed at the shipyard. Baltic Queen, the previous vessel built at Rauma shipyard, was completed in 2009 and operates nowadays on the Tallinn-Stockholm route.
“We are very pleased to announce that Rauma shipyard’s shipbuilding tradition, together with Tallink, will continue with RMC’s building of a new Shuttle ship. It is a great honor to be signing a letter of intent with our old friends at Tallink who have always shown appreciation for the shipbuilding expertise in Rauma. This is an opportunity for us to utilize our longstanding experience and to help steer the ship traffic between Finland and Estonia in a more environmentally friendly direction,” says Heinimaa.
During the upcoming months, Tallink Grupp and RMC will work on finalizing the contract and financial arrangements.
RMC’s previous car and passenger ferry m/s Hammershus, built for Danish ferry operator Molslinjen, began operating in Denmark in September. The company is also cooperating with the shipyard in Turku on building ship blocks for a large cruise ship.
Cooperation between ship building company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and Meyer Turku, at Turku shipyard, is expanding with the addition of a new ship block order. The newest order brings the total of ship blocks built at Rauma shipyard to eight. The additional order comes at a good time for RMC, whose first newbuild, a car and passenger ferry ordered by Molslinjen, began operating in Denmark during September.
At the beginning of the summer, the cooperation between RMC and Meyer Turku was announced with the news that Meyer Turku had placed an order from RMC for two blocks for the hull of the cruise ship Costa Smeralda. The cooperation has since been extended, with RMC and Meyer having signed additional contracts for multiple additional blocks. In addition to the two blocks that have already been delivered to Meyer, two blocks are currently being built at the shipyard and contracts for four new blocks have been signed.
“The additional orders are an indication of our successful cooperation with Meyer. The building of these ship blocks will continue late into spring 2019. The cooperation ensures the base load of the ship block factory and also provides valuable experience for future projects,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
The Costa Smeralda cruise ship will be delivered by Meyer to the owner in autumn 2019.
RMC’s firstborn begins operating in Denmark
Meyer’s ship block order comes at a good time for RMC, with the recent general overhaul of Finnish Environment Institute’s (SYKE) research vessel Aranda, and RMC’s first newbuilding vessel having been completed at the end of the summer. The newbuild, a car and passenger ferry named Hammershus, and built for Molslinjen, began operating in Denmark in September. Hammershus bears a specific significance for RMC, it being the company’s first newbuild vessel.
Over 250 workers were involved in the building process of the 158-meter long and 23.5-meter wide ferry and its impact on employment has totaled around 1,000 person-years. The vessel’s passenger capacity is 720 people, along with 20 crew members.
The car and passenger ferry can travel up to 17.7 knots. It runs on sulphur-free fuel and consumes less fuel compared to previous vessels. This was made possible by the fuel efficient Wärtsilä main engines, as well as the shape of the hull. In addition, the vessel complies with all current and upcoming environmental regulations.
Watch a video of RMC’s first newbuild vessel:
Additional information and interview requests:
Laura Virtanen, Rauma Marine Constructions
+358 50 528 0068
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) is a wholly Finnish-owned shipbuilding company formed in summer 2014 in Rauma. RMC specializes in building and servicing multipurpose icebreakers, car and passenger ferries and naval vessels. More information available at www.rmcfinland.fi.
The research vessel ‘Aranda’, owned by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), has been undergoing a general overhaul at the RMC shipyard in Rauma since last summer. During the conversion, the ship was lengthened by seven metres. The vessel will be handed over to SYKE this spring.
Aranda’s substantial renewal project is approaching its conclusion. During the conversion project, a brand new, 5.4-metre-long section was added in the middle of the vessel. In addition, the vessel’s rear and quarter deck was also reshaped and slightly lengthened. Due to the additional metres, it was possible to enlarge the research and laboratory rooms. When the renovation is finished, the environmental impact of the vessel will be further reduced. Furthermore, with the renovation, SYKE will guarantee Aranda’s optimal operational performance until the 2030’s.
This large renewal project was executed at Rauma Marine Constructions shipyard in Rauma, Finland. The project is significant for Rauma Marine Constructions because Finnish state-owned vessels are one of the most important strategic focus areas for the company.
Along with Aranda’s renovation, a Danish vessel is also being constructed at the shipyard. The vessel, ordered by Danish shipping company Molslinjen, will be delivered in June 2018.
Ainomaija Kylänpää, Rauma Marine Constructions
+358 40 5376720
Time-lapse video: Aranda’s conversion:
Finnish shipbuilding company, Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), has today launched its first newbuilding order; a car and passenger ferry for Danish shipping company, Molslinjen. The 158-meter ferry was launched from the Rauma shipyard and is scheduled for delivery in June 2018.
Rauma Marine Constructions’ first shipbuilding order, a 158-meter car and passenger ferry for Danish ferry operator Molslinjen, was launched today from the Rauma shipyard. In March 2017, the construction of the ship started, ahead of schedule, and construction has progressed as planned.
“This is the launch of RMC’s first newbuilding order, and a significant milestone in our company’s history. It is with great pride that we launch the vessel today,” states Jyrki Heinimaa, CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions.
The exterior of the ferry has already been completed. After the launch, the ship will be relocated to a dry-dock for equipment assembly and interior work, followed by trial runs and commissioning. The ship will be delivered to Molslinjen by the end of June 2018.
Construction according to schedule from start to finish
The car and passenger ferry will start operating during autumn 2018. The ship will mostly operate in Denmark and has been designed for use mainly on the Køge (Sjælland) – Rønne (Bornholm) route. However, during summer, it will also operate between Rønne and Sassnitz, Germany.
The ship’s passenger capacity is over 700 people, and it will be able to accommodate around 90 freight trailers. Though the cargo will mainly consist of trucks, the ship can also transport hundreds of passenger cars, if needed.
The ship will be built entirely in Rauma and will have a positive impact on employment totaling around 1,000 person-years. During next spring, there will be approximately 300 employees working on the ship’s equipment outfitting. Rauma Marine Constructions is very satisfied with how the project has progressed.
“Production has been excellent throughout: the ship will be delivered according to schedule and cooperation with Molslinjen has been impeccable,” says Timo Kaskinen, VP, Projects, Rauma Marine Constructions.
Modernization of Aranda progressing as planned
In addition to the launch of the car and passenger ferry for Molslinjen, the Finnish Environment Institute’s (SYKE) marine research vessel ‘Aranda’ was also launched at the Rauma shipyard. The repairs, which involved a seven-meter extension to the vessel, have been completed and the vessel will enter the final outfitting phase next.
The purpose of Aranda’s refurbishment and modernisation is to ensure the ship’s ability to function until the 2030s, while reducing its environmental impact and operating costs. The additional meters will not only facilitate the expansion of research and laboratory spaces, but also the transition to a completely electronic power transmission in accordance with new research requirements. The vessel will be delivered back to SYKE according to schedule during spring 2018.
Shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) has appointed the chairman of the board, Jyrki Heinimaa, to be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 01.12.2017 onwards. In addition to Heinimaa, RMC has also elected a new COO, chairman of the board and member of the board. Organizational changes are a part of the company’s new growth phase, with ambitions that include the deal for the Squadron 2020-project, business growth, the strengthening of RMC’s unique know-how, as well as continued development of the network-based business model.
“Rauma Marine Constructions’ growth story has been phenomenal from the beginning,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, incoming CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions. “The changes in management are a natural consequence of the next growth phase of the company. At this stage, the challenges the company faces are different from those at the start-up phase. It is, therefore, the right time to strengthen and develop the management of RMC according to the requirements set by the new phase. Private sector funding has a crucial role to play in enabling growth, and ensuring private funding in future projects will be essential to RMC’s growth.”
Most recently, Heinimaa was the Group CEO of the Hollming group of companies. Prior to this, Heinimaa’s career includes many years in the shipbuilding industry, holding management positions in ship finance, in particular.
As a part of the larger organizational change, there will be a number of other new names in RMC’s management. Timo Suistio, CEO, BMH Technology, has been appointed to the new COO position. Suistio’s strong project management skills will support the company’s direction towards larger and more challenging ship projects. Current member of the board and CEO of Vientistrategit Oy, Mikko Niini, will become the new chairman of the board. Furthermore, the board has appointed a new member, Pekka Vataja, previously the director of Danske Bank’s large companies unit, and one of the founding partners of Sagacitas Finance Partners.
Rauma Marine Construction’s current CEO, Heikki Pöntynen, will leave the company.
“Having overcome the shipbuilding crisis and successfully managed the start of a new company, I now feel it is time to leave my position as CEO, and leave the strong company that RMC has now become. I will be following RMC’s future development with great interest and excitement,” says Pöntynen.
Heinimaa thanks Pöntynen for his determined and successful managing of the business.
“During his time as CEO, the company has grown and developed into a shipbuilding company that is now aiming to secure a billion-euro shipbuilding contract with the Finnish Defence Forces,” says Heinimaa.
In other news, the construction of the car and passenger ferry for Danish shipping company, Molslinjen A/S, is proceeding as planned at Rauma Marine Constructions. The 158-meter ferry will be launched at the shipyard before Christmas. The refurbishment and modernization of the Finnish Environment Institute’s (SYKE) marine research vessel, ‘Aranda’, is also underway at the shipyard. The repairs will involve a seven-meter extension to the vessel, as well as the implementation of an all-electric power transmission, which will enable the underwater noise emitted by the ship to be significantly reduced.
Seeing the letter of intent is realized, Rauma-based shipbuilding company Rauma Marine Constructions will build four vessels capable of operating in ice conditions for the Finnish Defence Forces.
The Logistics Command of the Finnish Defence Forces will look into the prospects of Finnish-owned shipyard company Rauma Marine Constructions acting as the ship building partner for the Squadron 2020 project. The Logistics Command will ensure in cooperation with RMC it’s shipyard capacity, security of supply and other building prerequisites for combat vessels. More than 80 domestic and international suppliers responded to the request for information regarding Squadron 2020.
“On behalf of the company, I am elated and proud of the confidence that the Finnish Defence Forces have entrusted in us with the Squadron 2020 project. We will do everything in our power to make sure this letter of intent eventually results in the building of these naval vessels at the Rauma ship yard”, says Heikki Pöntynen, CEO of RMC.
The letter of intent outlines the building of four vessels capable of operating in ice conditions. The Squadron 2020 vessels are constructed for homeland defense purposes and the detailed composition of the combat system will be clarified as planning progresses. According to Pöntynen, the letter of intent also holds great importance because of its impact on job creation:
“The Finnish Defence Forces trusting our know-how regarding the construction of the new naval combat vessels is a big and significant step for RMC. If the project is realized, the impact on job creation in Rauma will be extensive and long-term.”
Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) is a wholly Finnish-owned shipbuilding company formed in summer 2014 in Rauma. RMC specializes in building and servicing multipurpose icebreakers, car and passenger ferries and naval vessels. More information available at www.rmcfinland.fi
Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC), a pioneer in arctic shipbuilding, will receive a major infusion of capital for further growth from three actors Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, Finda and a fund managed by Taaleritehdas. RMC’s strengthened position is yet another indication of the recovery of the Finnish shipbuilding industry.
Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) is a Finnish-owned shipyard with leading-edge expertise and technology in this field. Strategically, RMC specializes in the construction and maintenance of multi-purpose icebreakers, car ferries and naval vessels.
The infusion of capital and the involvement of major Finnish investors will contribute to the success and viability of the Finnish maritime cluster, and at the same time help keep the maritime industry’s value chain intact. Finnish Industry Investment Ltd, the fund managed by Taaleritehdas and Finda Oy participated in an investment round which will increase RMC’s share capital to nearly EUR 25 million. One of the existing owners, Kasvattajarahasto, managed by Aboa Venture Management, will also take part in the share issue. The strengthened capital position allows RMC to carry out major shipbuilding projects.
”The Finnish maritime industry is on the rise. We want to be involved in promoting the international growth of a company whose Arctic expertise is of the highest standard in the world,” says Investment Director Jussi Hattula of Finnish Industry Investment Ltd.
”The Finnish maritime industry represents the kind of expertise of high added value that our economy sorely needs. Together with our customers, we want to channel Finnish capital into this type of project. Taaleritehdas is pleased to be involved in strengthening the domestic ownership base which, in turn, will create jobs in Finland,” explains Chief Executive Officer Juhani Elomaa of Taaleritehdas.
“It’s great to witness the development of world-class expertise in one’s own country. We’re making a major investment in this fine growth company and its future with a view to potential listing in a few years’ time. Finda will be able to make its expertise in this area available to RMC,” says Finda’s Chief Executive Officer Jarmo Leino.
One of the objectives established by the Marine Industry 2020 working party appointed by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is to develop Finland into a major global player in the marine industry. In Finland, the functions and services related to the Arctic marine industry are highly integrated and the entire value chain under local control.
“We’ll continue to be the number one choice as a supplier of car ferries, ice-breakers, naval vessels and as a partner, and we’ll contribute to the Finnish Arctic expertise on our part. By specializing and investing in skills and technology, Finland will continue to be an important player in the shipbuilding sector,” concludes President and Chief Executive Officer Heikki Pöntynenof RMC.
Established in the summer of 2014, Rauma Marine Constructions Oy (RMC) is a Finnish-owned shipyard with leading-edge expertise and technology. Strategically, RMC specializes in the construction and maintenance of multi-purpose icebreakers, car ferries and naval vessels. Read more at www.rmcfinland.fi.
Minister of state ownership steering Ms. Sirpa Paatero visited RMC on December 8th, 2014 in order to discuss and explore the possibilities for RMC to participate in the future ice breaker fleet renewal and modernization projects. Her visit was complimented by a visit to ice breaking vessel “Fennica”, currently having her home port in Rauma.
Prime Minister of Finland Mr. Alexander Stubb visited Rauma Marine Constructions on October 6th 2014. Prime Minister Stubb encouraged the efforts in building up the Rauma shipbuilding capabilities over again. He also emphasized the importance of finding new and innovative solutions in boosting up the Finnish marine sector.