Sweden-based Rederi AB Gotland has awarded a contract to China’s GSI Shipyard for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ro-pax ferry.
The new-build ferry is expected to be delivered in 2017 and will be capable of accommodating 1,650 passengers.
The shipping company is spending SEK1bn ($134.9m) on the vessel, which is claimed to be the largest investment in the company’s 150-year history.
Gotland received its first vessels from GSI Shipyard in 2003 with the delivery of M/S Visby and M/S Gotland. Between 2006 and 2012, the shipbuilder delivered a total of six product tankers to Gotland.
Both companies have worked together for the design of optimal hull lines with improved energy consumption and less environmental impact.
Design of the new vessel is based on the existing SF1500 ships and includes many additional features, such as the recliner lounge on the eighth deck. Following delivery, its subsidiary ferry operator Destination Gotland will maintain the ship with the supply of LNG and other facilities in ports.
As the first Swedish-flagged passenger vessel using LNG, the ro-pax will contribute to the sustainable development of Gotland traffic with greater capacity and less environmental impact, Gotland stated.
Destination Gotland operates the ferry service between Gotland and the Swedish mainland, with harbours in Visby, Nynäshamn and Oskarshamn.