THE Tasmanian government has signed an agreement that aims to see local companies participate in the building of the next generation of Bass Strait TT-Line ferries. 

This comes after the state government chose Finnish shipbuilder Rauma Marine Constructions to build the two new Spirit vessels, over local shipbuilder Incat. 

A statement from the state minister for infrastructure and transport Michael Ferguson said the state government is ensuring local companies are able to “capture up to $100 million of the historic $855-million spend on the new TT-Line ferries”. This means that up to 12% of the spend on the ferries would go to Australian companies. 

Mr Ferguson said the Tasmanian government had signed an agreement with TT-Line and the Tasmanian Maritime Network. 

“The agreement, included in our 100-day plan, will open the door for local companies with the capabilities and capacity to supply construction services, componentry, fit-outs, maintenance and training to the two new vessel builds,” Mr Ferguson said. 

“Through a co-ordinated effort, and linking into the Advanced Manufacturing Industry Capability Network, we will provide direct pathways for local companies to engage with the shipbuilder, Rauma Marine Construction and the senior people making the purchasing decisions for the project.” 

Mr Ferguson said support offered under the agreement would build on TT-Line’s current expression of interest process for local companies wanting to get involved in the project. 

“The agreement will connect and align local businesses with the specific needs of the project. For example, businesses will be able to partner up to provide solutions that will help our Tasmanian companies gain a greater foothold in the project, through the power of collaboration,” Mr Ferguson said.