Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions and Hans Lindberg, Mayor of municipality of Umeå and member of the board Kvarken Link are placing the lucky coins under the keel.

The keel of Wasaline’s new ferry was laid at Rauma shipyard

A traditional ceremony was held to celebrate the keel laying of Rauma Marine Constructions’ newbuilding, NB6002 for Wasaline, on Thursday February 13 at the Rauma shipyard. The vessel, which will be named Aurora Botnia, will be delivered to the operator, Wasaline, in spring 2021. The new ferry will operate between Vaasa in Finland and Umeå in Sweden. The construction of the vessel will have a substantial effect on employment, totalling around 800 person-years.

The first keel-block of the new vessel was laid into Rauma shipyard’s dry dock today. The block weights approximately 210 tonnes. Laying down the keel is an important milestone in shipbuilding, and it’s often considered as the birth of the ship. Traditionally, lucky coins are placed under the keel. This time, the lucky coins were Swedish crowns and Finnish euros.

The new car and passenger ferry was ordered by Kvarken Link, a company owned by the city of Vaasa and the municipality of Umeå (Umeå Kommunföretag AB). The ferry will accommodate 800 passengers and will have a freight capacity of 1,500 lane metres for cargo. The ferry will replace Wasa Express, which now operates between Vaasa and Umeå.

The construction of the ship started in September 2019, and the next milestone will be the launching of the ship in the autumn this year. The completed vessel will be delivered to its Owner in spring 2021, with the shipbuilding project being worth around 120 million Euro in total.

The most environmentally friendly vessel in its category

The new ferry will be the first ever RoPax ferry with a Clean Design class notation. The vessel will have a hybrid power generation system, as well as an electric propulsion system rarely used in car and passenger ferries. The ferry can be considered as the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry under construction at the moment.

The four main engines, supplied by Wärtsilä, will run on both liquified natural gas and liquefied biogas. Thanks to this technology, emissions in the Kvarken region of the Gulf of Bothnia will decrease compared to the emissions from the vessel currently operating there. The ferry can make use of biogas from a plant in Vaasa, which produces gas from recycled materials. When the ferry is approaching the harbour or departing  she can operate utilising electrical power from a rather large battery pack.

“RMC wants to be a forerunner in producing holistic solutions with cutting-edge technology. The Clean Design class notation is one example of this. Moreover, we have partnered with Aalto University and agreed on joint research and development efforts,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.

“I’m very proud that we have reached this milestone. Laying the keel is an event that we have been looking forward to for some time. Now, we can see years of planning become a reality. This vessel is the most environmentally friendly large RoPax ferry in the world, its degree of domestic origin is more than 80%, and it employs the most cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technology,” says Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director of Wasaline.

“Being involved in this unique project has been an extraordinary experience. Our ferry is a showcase for the whole shipbuilding cluster across the world and a prime example of what can be achieved through collaboration,” Ståhlberg says.


Additional information and interview requests:

Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO, Rauma Marine Constructions


Laura Virtanen, Executive assistant, Rauma Marine Constructions

tel. +358 50 528 0068

[email protected]


Peter Ståhlberg, Managing Director, Wasaline

tel. +358 40 5592353

[email protected]


Catarina Fant, Head of Marketing & Events, Kvarken Link

tel. +358 46 921 5811

[email protected]


Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) is a wholly Finnish-owned shipbuilding company formed in the spring of 2014 in Rauma. RMC specialises in building and servicing multipurpose icebreakers, car and passenger ferries and naval vessels. More information is available at www.rmcfinland.fi.

Owned by Kvarken Link Oy, Wasaline is the northernmost shipping company that transports passengers and cargo daily between Vaasa, Finland and Umeå, Sweden. Wasaline’s new vessel, under construction in Rauma, will be delivered in spring 2021. For more information: www.wasaline.com. More about the new vessel: www.kvarkenlink.com.