Minister of Economic Affairs Juhan Parts has said that bringing all inter-Estonia ferries under state control would be cheaper than continuing the current subsidy system.
Speaking in front of Parliament on Monday, Parts said that a study begun in 2011 has calculated that the state would save up to eight million euros annually if it bought the ferries, then rented them to private companies to operate.
Parts said that in addition to those savings, the new system, if implemented, would increase competitiveness which could further cut costs.
The minister said that the lines have lacked any competition for the past 20 years, having been operated by just one company, Väinamere Liinid, which has a contract until 2016.
The state would purchase four new or used ferries to rent to operators who would service inter-island lines, cutting the need to pay the current subsidy of over 15 million euros a year.