RMC shipyars in Rauma keeps up the shipbuilding

article picture: RMC shipyars in Rauma keeps up the shipbuilding

Car and passenger ferry Aurora Botnia. photo: RAUMA MARINE CONSTRUCTIONS

At Rauma Marine Constructions shipyard on the west coast of Finland, shipbuilding work has been going on throughout the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. Some minor obstacles have been encountered, and some of the work processes have had to be re-configured – but the ships will be built, no matter what.

At the present time, the Rauma Marine Constructions shipyard concentrates on building new ships.

”We have our hands full with newbuilds, so that no major service work is currently ongoing, apart from some smallscale repairs,” says Mr. Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC).

”Wasaline’s ship ’Aurora Botnia’ is scheduled to be completed at the shipyard in the spring of 2021. Of course, the ongoing problems with Covid-19 virus may still affect the timetables.”

While ensuring the health and safety of the shipbuilders is of paramount importance, it has also meant numerous limitations for the work procedures at the shipyard.


”Various groups of shipbuilders, as well as the employees of different subcontractors, need to be kept apart from each other. Additional hygiene and face masks are required at the workplace, plus occasional quarantines for seasonal workers. All this has made it more difficult for the shipyard to take up new shipbuilding projects,” Mr. Heinimaa recounts.


The ’Aurora Botnia’ car and passenger ferry was floated out at Rauma shipyard in early September of 2020.

”Some minor delays have been recorded during the shipbuilding, particularly in the case of certain shipments of propulsion equipment.”

Since the hull of the vessel was completed, the equipment assembly and interior work has been ongoing, such as piping, insulation, ventilation and electrical installation. Furthermore, work around the engine rooms and the car deck has been continued.


The outfitting phase will be concluded with sea trials and commissioning for operation in spring 2021.

The ’Aurora Botnia’ will be the first car and passenger ferry in the world with a Clean Design class notation. The four main engines of the ship will run on both liquified natural gas (LNG) and biogas. When approaching the harbour or departing, the ferry can operate utilising electrical power. Owing to these new technologies, the carbon dioxide emissions from the ferry will be quite low.


Another vessel currently being built at Rauma shipyard is Tallink’s ’MyStar’ shuttle ferry. Keel-laying for this ship took place on 18 September, 2020.

”This one is a big and fast ferry. At present, the hull is being assembled. The ship is expected to be launched in the summer of 2021. Delivery is scheduled for early 2022,” Mr. Heinimaa notes.

When completed, the ferry will operate between Helsinki and Tallinn. For the shipyard, the shipbuilding project has provided more than 1,500 person-years of employment.


Among the shipyard’s major current projects is the Finnish Navy’s Squardon 2020 project, consisting of four multi-purpose corvettes.

”For this project, the main equipment procurements and the drafting of the final blueprints are now ongoing,” Heinimaa says.

The most significant parts of machinery equipment in the multi-purpose corvettes are the gas turbine, the electric drive system along with the gear system that connects them to the propeller shafts, and the main diesel generators.

The electric drive system and the gear system will be supplied by the German company RENK AG.

The gas turbines for the corvettes will be supplied by General Electric. The LM2500 gas turbine is the world’s most commonly used gas turbine in naval ships.



In the building and design of the four multipurpose Navy corvettes, there are additional important considerations of security.

”Details of materials or components cannot be discussed in teleconferences or other open communications lines,” Mr. Heinimaa points out.

President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions Jyrki Heinimaa

”Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has also become more difficult to meet various suppliers of components in person abroad, with regard to the rapidly changing virus situations in different countries. Some phases of the work may yet have to be re-scheduled because of this.”

If no major delays are encountered, the actual building of the four Navy corvettes is expected to start in 2022. They will eventually replace seven older warships that are currently in service.

”These corvettes will be unique: the first corvettes in the world that are capable of operating in heavy ice conditions,” Mr. Heinimaa emphasises.

After a relatively tough year of shipbuilding, he looks to the future with confidence.

”Overall, the pandemic has called for some new practices in shipbuilding, but things could have been much worse. Some shipyards abroad have had to close down altogether. Our professional and skilled shipbuilders, together with out network of responsible subcontractors, have helped to keep us afloat.”

Text by Ari Monenen

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