SeaRoad to put Liekut on Bass Strait duties

Kelly sees new charter arrangement delivering greater Tasmania-Victoria capacity

SeaRoad to put Liekut on Bass Strait duties
Chas Kelly


SeaRoad Shipping is chartering the ro-ro cargoship Liekut over three years for Bass Strait freight work in what promises to be a hefty capacity boost in the trade.

The $80 million investment will see the Searoad Tamar replaced with the Liekut until SeaRoad’s new ship is constructed.

"We’re taking big steps to ensure SeaRoad’s future and the provision of ever-improving, reliable Bass Strait services for our clients," executive chairman Chas Kelly says.

"This will lead to greater opportunity for Tasmanian agriculture, aquaculture and manufacturing industries, ultimately attracting further investment in these sectors.

"MV Liekut will complement our other modern ship, MV Searoad Mersey II, which is similar in size and speed, increasing SeaRoad’s total lane metre capacity by almost 70 per cent." 

SeaRoad reveals its senior management team assessed 24 ships as part of the charter project, including the Liekut in Poland in July.

Shipbuilder Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) completed its construction in March, and the ship has not traded commercially since. 

Read about SeaRoad Mersy II being  launched into the trade, here

Shipowners Siem will complete Liekut modifications in Poland before her delivery into Melbourne, including strengthening decks, installing barriers and drainage, and modifying the stern ramp to suit the new home port of Devonport. 

"We’ve had initial discussions with our employees, state governments, ports and union representatives about this initiative, who have all been supportive and excited about what this will mean for Tasmanian freight," Kelly says.

"We can’t wait to now share the news with our customers.

"As our capacity grows, we expect to create new employment opportunities for businesses in Melbourne and throughout Tasmania."

Once Liekut’s charter period is complete,SeaRoad’s new permanent vessel is scheduled to come online in the second half of 2023 at an estimated $190 million of further investment.

Presently Maltese flagged, Liekut will be Australian flagged for the task.

The inherited name comes from the local dialect of Lower German, meaning "straight ahead". The Searoad Tamar will be retired.


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