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.