Tasmania is powering ahead with its export infrastructure with the official commissioning of a new cargo ship that will ferry goods between Burnie and the mainland within 13 hours.
That will be an hour faster than currently and the new Tasmanian Achiever 11 has the capacity to carry 40 per cent more cargo, in trucks or in containers. The ship starts commercial work on March 1.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially launched the new ship – the largest Australian flagged cargo ship – at Burnie on the weekend.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association President Wayne Johnston said the “launch of the Achiever 2, it will provide benefits across the Tasmanian agriculture industry”.
“Tasmania’s agricultural output increased by 14 per cent last year, to achieve this growth year on year, the government will need to review the freight capacities across Tasmania,” Mr Johnston said.
“TFGA will be welcoming TT-Lines new boats when they come online, as well as the commitment of TOLL, SeaRoads and TT-Lines in supporting our primary industries”.
The 210-metre vessel is the first of two new ships commissioned by Toll to carry freight between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, increasing Toll’s Bass Strait cargo capacity by more than 40 per cent on each voyage.
Toll said in a release: “This increased capacity will ensure Tasmania’s primary producers and manufacturers have more reliable and guaranteed access to mainland and international markets on a daily basis said Steve Borg, Toll’s Executive General Manager, Tasmania and Shipping.
“As the country’s largest private investment in coastal trading in 25 years, this is a major milestone for Australian shipping with Tasmanian Achiever II providing capacity to meet anticipated demand for the next two decades,” said Mr Borg.
The ship is unique in that it provides less emissions. “Built to comply with strict standards on sulphur emissions, due to be introduced next year by the International Marine Organisation (IMO2020), the Tasmanian Achiever II has sophisticated on-board scrubbers that filter emissions,” Toll said.
Toll said that in port, the new ships will connect to the local power grid, eliminating the need to generate power from its diesel engines. “A new wharf management system and customer booking software will improve terminal operational procedures to minimise traffic congestion and enable better freight tracking and monitoring of refrigerated cargo.”
Tasmanian Achiever II’s identical sister ship, Victorian Reliance II will be named at a ceremony scheduled next weekend at Toll’s wharf in Webb Dock, Port of Melbourne.