Searoad Mersey II makes maiden commercial voyage


New gas-powered Bass Strait ship starts regular crossings soon

Searoad Mersey II makes maiden commercial voyage
The Searoad Mersey II

 

Searoad Mersey II, the newest and ‘greenest’ ship on the Bass Strait trade, has taken its first paying cargo from Devonport to Melbourne.

The Australian liquefied natural gas-powered vessel will begin regular six-days-a-week services "early next year", owner SeaRoad says.

"This ship increases SeaRoad Shipping’s Bass Strait freight, trailers, container and vehicle space by more than 50 per cent and will ensure Tasmanian shippers have plentiful capacity for exports to the mainland and, through the port of Melbourne, to the world," SeaRoad Holdings chairman Chas Kelly says.

"Conversely, there will now be more room all-year-round for crucial southbound supplies for Tasmania.

"Most importantly, Searoad Mersey IIwill provide a very tangible representation of Tasmania’s clean, green image, for which the island state is known worldwide."

According to the company, the $110 million ship will mean 62 per cent greater capacity for SeaRoad Shipping all-year-round – especially important at times of export and import peak demand – while the extra speed will offer the potential for later cargo receival and earlier discharge, and recovery of any weather or other delays.

A replacement for its other ship is planned but when is unclear.

"SeaRoad Shipping’s need has been to introduce a larger vessel better matched to the capacity of the Searoad Tamar to accommodate the growing requirements of shippers out of and into Tasmania," the company says.

"It is our aim to commission a sister to Searoad Mersey II as soon as market conditions and shipyard availability permit."

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