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Thursday, February 27, 2020 

The Tasmanian Government has confirmed that the state-controlled TT-Line has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Finnish ship builder, Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC), to deliver the two new 'Spirit of Tasmania' vessels, originally ordered from Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) of Germany.

There had been considerable concern in Tasmania over delays in delivery of the vessels from FSG, and it is understood that the contract with FSG has been cancelled by mutual consent, with no payment made by TT-Line to FSG. The majority of the work undertaken to date on the new vessels by TT-Line and its expert consultants is transferrable and can be utilised in the detailed design phase and contract negotiations with the new shipbuilder.

Michael Ferguson, Tasmania's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport , said: "I would like to commend TT-Line Board and Management for its prudent and responsible management of this significant investment, which has minimised exposure to the company and the State of Tasmania.

TT-Line will now commence contract negotiations with RMC, including final design specifications. This will include finalising the delivery date, for which the MOU targets late 2022 for hull 1 and late 2023 for hull 2. Under this Government, TT-Line has enjoyed phenomenal success, with our plan to deliver more passengers and lower fares, as well as two new ships well within the 2028 timeframe."

Ferguson pointed out that: "The current Spirit of Tasmania ships continue to operate safely and efficiently, and are already emissions compliant as was required by 2020."

The newbuilds were originally scheduled to be delivered by FSG in 2021-2022, and would offer a passenger capacity increase of 43% and freight capacity increase of 39% over the two ex-Superfast ro-paxes (pictured) currently operating on the route across the Bass strait.

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