Saaremaa ferry gets «Merry Christmas» splash

Under construction at Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, the first of two ferryboats built for Port of Tallinn and meant for mainland-Saaremaa lines will be launched just before this Christmas. 

The ferry christened Tõll has half of hull welded together. The other half is currently being assembled. At end of October, the shipyard will launch a three mast sailing vessel for training in Algerian navy. After that, the front and back of Tõll will be pushed together and joined. The launch of Tõll is scheduled for December 20th –21st.

In charge of Port of Tallinn’s vessels at the Remontowa shipyard, Jan Paszkowski told Postimees the construction is progressing as planned, procurements of equipment have been concluded and no obstacles and problems have thus far occurred.

«Assembly of both vessels has reached the stage where delays will come no more,» said Mr Paszkowski. «The launch will be according to schedule.»

480 hands

At the moment, 240 people are at work with Tõll. Mr Paszkowski says the numbers will ratchet remarkably as equipment will be assembled.

The other vessel destined to sail the Saaremaa line starting next fall, named Piret, is being built in the other plant of Remontowa Shipbuilding, in neighbouring Gdynia.

Remontowa board member Krzysztof Gerowski says both ships will get DNV certificates. «Indeed we cannot ever build a ship which corresponds not to norms, getting no certificate,» assured the shipbuilder.

Among other things, DNV certified the material used to build the vessels. Steel plates ordered by Remontowa from the Danish company Dansteel are certified not as batch, as is traditional, but one by one. «All the material corresponds to the classification society standards,» said Mr Gerowski.

According to Port of Tallinn board member Carri Ginter visiting the shipyard at Gdansk, they rest satisfied with the dedication of the builders: «Visibly, the plant management understands the importance of these ships for Estonia.»

Representing constructor of the ferries LMG Marin, Vincent Rudelle was present to inspect the developments. In his own words, Mr Rudelle pays monthly visits to Poland and Turkey to monitor the building process.

Mr Ginter said he was impressed by the presentation by Mr Rudelle. «Clearly, the construction is very well thought through,» he said. «They told us in Turkey that the vessels constructed by that bureau are better as a rule than initially promised.»

In Gdansk, the ferries are built somewhat differently from Sefine, Turkey: at Remontowa, subcontractors prepare large sections – the so-called megablocks – to then be assembled on the shipyard lot. «We learned the method from the Norwegians,» said Mr Gerowski.

Mid-sized

«For our plant, the project is quite typical. Technically, it is not as complicated as several others underway. But it is still very important for us because it is very important for our clients in Estonia,» said Remontowa Shipbuilding CEO Andrzej Wojtkiewicz.

While for Remontowa the Port of Tallinn ferries are a mid-sized project, and larger ones are currently underway in Gdansk, the CEO says they cannot but take it seriously. «We have no unimportant projects, we can afford no failures anywhere,» he said.

Mr Wojtkiewicz explained that building ferries is one of the two main business directions at Remontowa, the other being vessels for servicing off-shore oil and gas rigs. Having started off building military and fishing vessels, warships are made even now: having built patrol vessels for Denmark, they are currently busy making a demagnetised warship for the navy of Poland.

Of other projects more challenging technically, construction is ongoing with a cable vessel for a Danish company. 3D forming of ship hull details has been done for US customers.  

The two vessels from Remontowa, and the other two from  Sefine, Turkey should be delivered to Port of Tallinn in second half of summer 2016, to sail the lines starting October 1st. 

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