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.