Meyer Turku shipyard has conducted a keel laying ceremony for Estonian shipping company Tallinck’s new LNG-propelled fast ferry Megastar, marking the start of assembling of the ship’s hull.
Post delivery, Megastar will operate on the Tallinn-Helsinki route in the Baltic Sea and is expected to be delivered at the beginning of 2017.
Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer said: "Over a year we have been designing Tallink’s fast ferry in good collaboration with the ship owner to feature our next generation LNG-propulsion and a new architecture for the public spaces.
"In addition we have been pre-producing parts for the ship.
"In shipbuilding constant development is the norm and there is very little time for tradition."
The 212m-long fast ferry will have a gross tonnage of 49,000t, and be capable of carrying 2,800 passengers and 300 crew members.
The vessel integrates an innovative hull design, which is expected to minimise the flow resistance and enable the ship to operate in icy-waters. The vessel is also designed to provide efficient and fast cargo turnaround in ports.
Fuelled primarily by LNG, the vessel will comply with the new, stricter emission regulations for the emission control areas (ECAs).
The ferry will be classed by Bureau Veritas and its subsidiary Tecnitas has performed the risk assessment studies for the LNG bunker operations in Helsinki and Tallinn ports.
It is currently performing hazard identification (HAZID) studies for the proposed LNG propulsion and storage onboard.