SEAROAD’s new charter vessel MV Liekut is due to arrive at Station Pier, Melbourne on 26 March.

In preparation for the vessel’s arrival – which will service the Bass Strait route – SeaRoad has invested $15 million in developing the East Devonport terminal. This includes fendering, berth strengthening, and mooring bollards works, which are currently being completed for the 210-metre-long ship.

In Melbourne, $600,000 of fendering relocation, pile restoration and mooring bollards works are also close to completion.

SeaRoad is a privately-owned, Australian shipping and logistics business specialising in Bass Strait services. The company runs purpose-built ro-ro vessels servicing the route between Melbourne and Devonport.

The company’s two ships operate a dedicated daily cargo shipping service. MV SeaRoad Mersey II, built in 2016, is the first coastal ship in Australia to use LNG fuel and power technology. The modern MV Liekut joins the SeaRoad fleet in April 2021 for three years, replacing MV SeaRoad Tamar.

Executive chairman of SeaRoad, Chas Kelly, said the investment in the charter vessel and port works would provide increased capacity for freight across Bass Strait. SeaRoad’s total lane metre capacity will grow by almost 70% when MV Liekut replaces the existing SeaRoad Tamar.

“We’ve seen a fantastic response from our clients in the lead up to Liekut commencing service. More transport options for Tasmanian agriculture, aquaculture and manufacturing industries means more growth opportunities for businesses,” Mr Kelly said.

MV Liekut will conduct its maiden, non-commercial, voyage from Melbourne on 1 April, arriving in Devonport on 2 April for operational testing.

The ship will then depart Devonport on its first commercial voyage on 5 April (Easter Monday) and travel to Webb Dock, Port Melbourne overnight, arriving on 6 April.