KiwiRail’s project to replace its aging Interislander ferry fleet with two new rail-enabled ferries has entered a new phase with the appointment of naval architects.
KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer – Capital Projects & Asset Development, David Gordon says Danish naval architects, OSK ShipTech AS will develop the design of the two new ships to meet KiwiRail’s requirements well into the future.
“The two new ferries will have a greater capacity for rail and road freight, and passengers than the existing three-ship fleet.
“We have also recently appointed the French-based BRS Group as our ship broker to help in the international search for potential suppliers of the vessels.
“The target is for the new ships to be ready for service in 2024.
“The first stage of the procurement process, a request for Expression of Interest in supplying the ships has just closed.
“The request for Expression of Interest is the first stage of what is expected to be a multi-phase, open competitive procurement process to supply the new ferries.
“In this year’s Budget the Government allocated $35m for progressing procurement of two new, rail enabled ferries that will replace Interislander’s aging Aratere, Kaitaki, and Kaiarahi ferries.”