Finland-based operator Finnlines has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with an undisclosed entity for the construction of three new 7,300-lane-metre roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) vessels.

The order has been placed in response to increasing volumes and market demand as part of Finnlines’ ongoing fleet investment initiative.

The company did not reveal any further details regarding the LoI, which was mentioned in the company’s financial results for the last quarter of 2017, ending 31 December.

“The order has been placed in response to increasing volumes and market demand as part of Finnlines’ ongoing fleet investment initiative.”

Finnlines president and CEO Emanuele Grimaldi said: “Looking to 2018 and beyond, there are three strictly connected key elements in the way we are running our shipping business worldwide in the Grimaldi Group, and also in Finnlines, that is to grow together with the customers, to increase efficiency of capital employed on our fleet and to continue investing in sustainable development.”

Finnlines also intends to lengthen four of its Breeze-series RoRo vessels that were originally built in 2012 and 2013 as part of the company’s current investment programme, which was launched last year.

The vessels’ capacity will be increased by 30% to enable them to carry up to 4,200 lane metres of rolling cargo, as well as reduce the energy consumption per unit compared to their original designs.

Finnlines has already completed the lengthening of two vessels and aims to finalise work on the two remaining units by the end of April.

The company previously announced the purchase of a vessel named MS Europalink in January in order to address growing volumes and demand for capacity.

The vessel was bought from Grimaldi Group by Finnlines’ fully owned Swedish subsidiary, Rederi Aktiebolaget Nordö-Link.