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.