A NEW freight vessel longer than the Spirit of Tasmania and worth almost $162 million will be built creating more opportunities for local agriculture and aquaculture producers to get product to market.
Transport company SeaRoad, which is headquartered in East Devonport, has finalised an agreement with German shipbuilding yard Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft to build a new roll-on/roll-off vessel with LNG propulsion.
The new vessel will join Searoad Mersey II and replace charter vessel MV Liekut to operate on Bass Strait between Melbourne and Devonport, scheduled for the last quarter of 2023.
Searoad’s executive chairman Chas Kelly says the company is continuously evolving to be the premium freight provider across Bass Strait.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our logistics solutions for customers and with our investment in this new vessel, the team at SeaRoad is confident in the future of transport between Tasmania and the mainland,” Mr Kelly said.
“At over 40,000 tonnes gross, this will be the largest freight vessel in SeaRoad’s history.“
“We’ve been very pleased with how our two current FSG-built vessels have performed from both an efficiency and operational perspective.”
Construction of the 210m vessel will start late this year and the ship will feature the latest technology, including LNG power, as part of SeaRoad’s commitment to sustainable practices.
The vessel will have a capacity of 4227 lane metres and capability to transport heavy cargo with a unit weight of up to 100 tonnes.
Mr Kelly said SeaRoad has invested significantly in infrastructure and equipment in both Devonport and Port Melbourne over the past 18 months.
“We’ve invested more than $5 million in equipment to complement terminal activities,” Mr Kelly said.
“We have also begun a $6 million investment in new technology to streamline and automate our systems and processes.”
The new build agreement took a year to negotiate with border restrictions requiring SeaRoad and FSG to sign the contract 16,000k