KiwiRail to work with Hyundai Mipo to build new Interislander ferrie
KiwiRail has named the world-renowned Ulsan, South Korea-based Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) as its preferred shipyard to build the two new Interislander ferries, the company said in its announcement.
For the new Interislander project and the conclusion of a rigorous, competitive, year-long selection process, KiwiRail Chief Executive Greg Miller said the decision to collaborate with HMD was a big move forward.
After the technical and commercial negotiation process, Mr. Miller said that the goal was to have the final shipbuilding contract signed by mid-2021 and to have the construction of the ferries underway by late 2022.
Once commissioned and completed, the two new ferries will replace the three old Interislander ferries from KiwiRail, which are approaching the end of their working lives. KiwiRail operates about 3,800 services a year, transporting approximately 850,000 passengers, 250,000 cars and freight worth up to $14 billion, but with expected significant growth.
In order to accommodate the new ferries and enhance the Interislander service for clients and employees, new terminals and berths in Waitohi Picton and Wellington are expected.
With decades of experience constructing complex ships, including HMNZS Aotearoa for NZDF, HMD is the world's sixth-largest shipbuilder globally.
It is more than 20 years since New Zealand added to its fleet a brand-new purpose-built ferry. Once the two new ferries are completed, they will be more effective and support the target of KiwiRail to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Maritime Business World