Australian ferry operator cancels Rauma shipyard order

The Tasmanian company says it prefers to boost local businesses instead after the coronavirus epidemic, and ensure jobs stay in Australia.

File picture of Rauma Marine Constructions flag on ship / Credit: RMC

The Australian ferry operator TT-Line, which is wholly owned by the Government of Tasmania, has canceled an order from Rauma Marine Constructions.

TT-Line had signed a letter of intent at the beginning of the year for two passenger car ferries but now the company says because of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis there needs to be “more consideration of local content and manufacturing jobs in Tasmania and Australia as part of the overall vessel replacement project.”

The company’s chairman says that canceling the order is not a reflection on Rauma Marine Construction’s ability to delivery the project, but rather “a matter of timing and the unprecedented impact Covid-19 is having and will have on state and national economies.”

Construction of the two ferries was supposed to start at Rauma in early 2021, with delivery dates at the end of 2022, and end of 2023.

CEO Jyrki Heinimaa says that the order cancellation is “naturally unfortunate” for the company but that it doesn’t mean any job losses.

“We have roughly 190 people employed directly by us for our payroll and it doesn’t have an effect. We have an order backlog for the Vasa-Umeå ferry, we have the MyStar project for Tallink Group, and four corvettes for the Finnish Navy” on the order books, he tells News Now Finland.

“It will have an effect on our growth strategy but we are seeking and looking for new opportunities” he adds.

Rauma Marine Constructions isn’t revealing how much the lost orders for Tasmania were worth.