Construction starts on a new vessel for Estonian shipping line Tallink on Monday, at the Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) in western Finland.
The new ship, a shuttle vessel called the MyStar, has been under prepartion for over a year and is estimated to cost €250 million. The MyStar will ply the Tallinn-Helsinki route.
The ship is fue for launch in January 2022, and uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel source. The MyStar will also have state-of-the-art technology on board, and meets all current and known future emissions requirements.
The work begins with the traditional cutting of the metal at the RMC yard, but will not have a major ceremony due to the current coronavirus emergency restrictions in Finland. Instead, Tallink Group, Tallink's parent company, is to host a webcast of the event (see link below), starting at 1 p.m.
"The world around us has recently changed beyond recognition and all around us we only see shut-down, challenges and closure. Our group too is facing challenges, but at the same time we are working hard to get through the current situation and are continuing to focus on the future," said Tallink Group board chair Paavo Nõgene, according to a Tallink press release.
"One of the key future projects already underway before the crisis was the construction project of our new shuttle, MyStar – one of the eco-friendliest ship on the Baltic Sea. I am therefore pleased that we are today able to start thisnew project in cooperation with our long-standing partner Rauma shipyard."
"During this intense time of challenge, we see, more than ever, how much our economies rely on dependable, sustainable and eco-friendly ships and the importance of vital shipping routes remaining open. At Tallink, this makes our commitment to building and operating the most innovative and most sustainable ships on the Baltic sea even stronger," Nõgene went on.
RMC President and CEO Jyrki Heinimaa said: "We are proud to start the construction of the new vessel MyStar building on the good cooperation we have with our significant customer Tallink Grupp. Together, we are shaping the shipping industry between Finland and Estonia to be more and more environmentally friendly."
The MyStar will be 212 meters long and 30.6 meters wide, with a Gross tonnage of 50,000 tons. She will accommodate 2,800 passengers, and the four car decks will have capacity for up to 750 vehicles. The MyStar's maximum speed will be27 knots, Tallink says.
Tallink is still running its Megastar service between Tallinn and Helsinki, primarily for cargo. Restrictions due in place in Finland last week were postponed; these would have forbidden ferry passengers arriving in the country, making the journey only one-way (i.e. from the Finnish capital to Tallinn). In either direction, passengers arriving would need to spend 14 days in quarantine as part of both countries' coronavirus restrictions.
Editor: Andrew Whyte