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Tuesday, September 21, 2021 

Tasmania-based Australian shipping company, SeaRoad, and German shipyard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), have finalised the purchase contract for an LNG-fuelled ro-ro vessel.

The two parties signed the contract remotely, apparently after nearly a year of negotoiation. Work on the 210m ro-ro vessel will start in Flensburg later in 2021, for an agreed delvery in the last quarter of 2023. The vessel will have 3,792 lane metres available for the carriage of freight units, plus capacity for over 100 trade vehicles. A special requirement for the vessel is the capability to transport heavy cargo with a unit weight of up to 100t. The order is said to be worth more than €100m, with funding agreed from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

SeaRoad is a previous FSG customer, having chartered the Searoad Mersey II in 2016, followed by the Liekut which joine dthe SeaRoad fleet under a three-year charter agreement in April 2021. The new 12,183dwt vessel will be powered by two 10,300kW dual-fuel engines, and include 25 cabins.

Chas Kelly, Executive Chairman, SeaRoad, said: “We’ve been very pleased with how the two FSG-built vessels in the SeaRoad fleet have performed from both an efficiency and operational perspective. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with the German shipyard and their experienced staff. Sustainable design, leading technology and the excellent quality of their vessels are all important elements.”

Philipp Maracke, FSG CEO, said: “We are proud to have brought this order to Flensburg as it is proof of the shipyard’s successful new start. This additional order by a long-standing customer equals an important vote of confidence in both this new model, as well as our established expertise as an innovative German newbuilding yard. Our aim is to combine superior quality and superior life-cycle value. With this new vessel, FSG and SeaRoad will make an important contribution to sustainable shipping.”

The new ro-ro will operate on the Bass Strait between Devonport, Tasmania, and Melbourne, on mainland Australia. 

Ro-ro specialist FSG has had a troubled recent past, suffering financially from late-delivery penalties for an Irish Ferries newbuild, and the cancellation of an order for two other Tasmanian ferries and an LNG-fuelled ro-pax for Brittany Ferries. After several false re-starts, it seems the yard now has a good chance to return to normal operation.

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