German shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) has cut first steel for a new new roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) freight vessel being constructed for Australian shipping company SeaRoad.

A May 20 steel cutting event involved the ceremonial ‘pushing of the button’ to start the laser cutting machine with SeaRoad Technical Marine Manager, Tony Johnson, and FSG CEO Philipp Maracke doing the honors. Johnson is currently on the ground in Germany overseeing the newbuild project.

The 210-meter-long newbuild was ordered in 2021 at a cost of more than €100 million. Scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2023, it will join SeaRoad Mersey II and replace SeaRoad’s charter vessel MV Liekut to operate on Bass Strait between Melbourne and Devonport. The ship will have a capacity of 4,227 lane meters and capability to transport heavy cargo with a unit weight of up to 100 tonnes.

The vessel will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) as part of SeaRoad’s commitment to sustainable practices, the company said. Wärtsilä is delivering two 46DF dual-fuel main engines and three 20DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines, as well as fuel storage tanks, gas handling equipment and almost every electrical system on board, including bridge consoles with integrated navigation, redundant dual-gyro compass systems, nautical sensors, external communication systems, power take-in and take-out (PTI/PTO) shaft alternators with multi-drive technology, monitoring and control systems, switchboards, internal communication, and safety systems as well as lighting.

MacGregor has been tapped to design, fabricate and install a large stern ramp and ramp cover featuring patented soft flaps that minimize both noise and wear.

(Image: SeaRoad)

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