Listed Estonian shipper AS Tallink Grupp has signed an agreement with Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) for the construction of a new shuttle ferry.
Tallink and RMC signed an agreement of intent according to which Tallink intended to order a new passenger ferry for its Tallinn-Helsinki route.
The new vessel, which is to be built at Rauma Shipyard in Finland, is projected to cost approximately EUR 250 million and be completed by the end of 2021.
In comparison, the Megastar, currently Tallink’s newest ship, which entered service in early 2017, cost EUR 230 million.
Tallink CEO Paavo Nogene and board member Andres Hunt confirmed that the financing of this investment was within the company’s means, and that the company’s promised dividend policy would not be affected. Nogene stressed that Tallink had been progressive in the reduction of its loan burden.
Hunt explained that in shipbuilding it was customary for the principle payment to be made at handover, which was planned to take place approximately three years from now.
“Our cash flows and earning capacity are good enough to get this financed,” he said. “The majority of the money will come as a loan from banks, with a down payment of 20%.”
The new vessel will have a bi-fuel engine, running primarily on liquefied natural gas (LNG), and a capacity of 2,800 passengers.
The shuttle will serve the company’s Tallinn-Helsinki route, further developing an important connection between the two capital cities. The company’s goal is to build the most efficient and environmentally friendly ship on the Baltic Sea.
Over the years, a total of four Tallink Group ships have been built and two vessels designed at Rauma Shipyard. The most recent Tallink ship to be built in the Finnish shipyard was the Baltic Queen, completed in 2009 and serving the company’s Tallinn-Stockholm route.
Over the next couple of months, Tallink Grupp and RMC will draw up a ship construction agreement and agreements regarding the financing of the ship. (ERR/Business World Magazine)