The world-renowned pristine wilderness of Australia’s island state of Tasmania has been complemented by the launch last week of SeaRoad Shipping’s new 182 metre long roll-on roll-off freight vessel for Bass Strait service. Searoad Mersey II, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), was launched at Flensburger Shipyard, Germany, and is expected to enter service in Australian waters by December 2016.
Searoad Mersey II represents an investment of more than $110 million in the future of Tasmania and its connectedness to the mainland and the world. It is the first coastal ship in Australia to use clean, green LNG fuel-and-power technology and the first pure dry cargo ship globally to use a roll-on roll-off LNG supply system. The total investment includes the vessel’s unique fuelling infrastructure, berth improvements and additional cargo-handling equipment.
It will also be the first new vessel this century specifically designed and commissioned for the Bass Strait trade and will add critical capacity for Tasmanian exporters (and importers) as the Bass Strait freight task continues to grow.
All of the ship’s principal engines are dual-fuel, burning LNG as the primary source of energy to give significantly reduced emissions, minimal risk of oil pollution, greater operational efficiencies and sustainable future environmental benefits. In regular service Searoad Mersey II will use diesel for less than 1% of ship operations.
The innovative design anticipates strict marine air pollution regulations that already apply in parts of Europe and North America and which are likely to be enacted in Australia in the future.
Chas Kelly, chairman of parent company SeaRoad Holdings, believes there couldn’t be a better ambassador for Tasmania’s clean, green image: “This is a Tasmanian-grown project that ticks the right boxes about environmental responsibility, clever thinking, world-leading technology and commercial sustainability,” Mr Kelly said.
“SeaRoad customers will be able to tell their own clients that the produce, goods and equipment they’re shipping from or to Tasmania will be transported by the most environmentally efficient method. Clean and green not only defines Tasmania, it ships from here too”.
Once afloat, Searoad Mersey II will undergo several more months of completion work and trials before voyaging to Australia in late October. It is expected to enter six-days-a-week overnight Bass Strait service between Devonport and Melbourne in December.
- MAIN ENGINE: 2 x MaK M46DF [7200kW each]
- AUXILIARY ENGINES: 2 x 3000kW dual fuel medium speed MaK M34DF
- FUEL: LNG Primary, MDO Secondary and 1% for pilot ignition
- SERVICE SPEED: 20.5 Knots
- CLASSIFICATION: DNV GL
- FLAG: Australian
- CARGO TYPE: Containers, trailers, cars and other mobile or wheeled freight
- LENGTH: 182 metres<
- BEAM: 26.60 metres
- DRAUGHT: 6.35 metres
- DEADWEIGHT: 8,500 tonnes
- CARGO DEADWEIGHT CAPACITY: 6,750 tonnes
(Source: SeaRoad Holdings)