Construction Begins in Finland on LNG-Powered European Shuttle Ferry
The greening of the maritime industry is progressing with a variety of new ships either having been introduced or under construction that use technologies to be more environmentally sensitive. One sector that is moving quickly to embrace new technologies is the European ferry operators. Recently in Finland, they celebrated the keel laying for a new ferry that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), one of the first passenger vessels to use this emerging marine fuel.
The keel laying for Tallink Grupp's eco-friendly LNG-powered shuttle ferry MyStar took place at the Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) shipyard in Rauma, Finland on September 18. Reflecting the travel restrictions due to the pandemic, the keel-laying ceremony was conducted via the Internet with live streaming from the shipyard.
Rendering of the LNG-powered ferry MyStar due to enter service in 2022 - courtesy of Tallink Grupp
The new LNG-powered vessel will measure 695 feet in length with a 50,000 gross ton measurement and a capacity of 2,800 passengers. The design will incorporate the latest cutting-edge technology and innovations onboard. It will meet all the current and known future emission regulations.
In addition to the LNG power plant, the vessel will be fitted with shore-to-ship green power equipment as well as the Smart Car Deck solution, developed in cooperation with Tallinn Technical University (TalTech). It will enable even faster and more convenient loading and unloading of the vessel and is compatible with the already existing Smart Port solution at the Port of Tallinn. With a total of four car decks, the vessel will accommodate up to 750 vehicles.
The first steel for the MyStar was cut in April and construction has been progressing during the summer months. Among the steps that were completed was the testing of the vessel’s main engines. Tests on the generators are currently underway and expected to be completed during the fall.
The keel-laying last week was the next milestone in the project. The first block of the ship, measuring approximately 270 tonnes, was lowered into the drydock so that block assembly can proceed on the ferry. The shipyard anticipates that the launch of MyStar will take place in the summer of 2021. Upon completion and delivery in January 2022, MyStar will operate on the company’s Tallinn-Helsinki route, connecting the capitals of Estonia and Finland.
“With the MyStar project, we are proud and happy to be able to help sustain the rich tradition of Finnish shipbuilding,” said Paavo Nõgene CEO of Tallink Grupp. “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.”