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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
06/08/18 09:59

RFI calls a tender for a new 50-million-worth ferry

Sister to the Messina, the ro-ro will be shipping rail wagons across the Strait

While waiting to receive, the so much delayed, ro-pax Okeanos 1, purchased at Greek Megatechnica di Perama and intended to operate across the Strait of Messina on behalf of Bluferries (passengers and vehicles' transport), Rete Ferroviaria Italiana determined also strengthening its ro-ro fleet, directly managed under the RFI brand (former ‘Bluvia’), to transport trains (granting territorial continuity to Sicily) on the same route.

The latest new entry dates back to 2013, when Ferrovie dello Stato group was delivered ferry Messina (worth 50 million Euro), built at Nuovi Cantieri Apuani in 2011 and currently serving the Messina – Villa San Giovanni line.

RFI has just published a public tender on its website for the construction of a “new mono-directional ro-ro unit suited to transport railway wagons, passengers, cars and heavy vehicles across the Strait of Messina as well as hazardous commodities packed or in tankers”.

Starting price of the unique-bid auction was set at 53.5 million Euro, while biddings can be submitted up to October 8th  and envelopes opening was set on October 10th.

Still according to the published tender, the winner's commitment will encompass “construction of the ship in compliance with technical specifications and projects approved by the technical classification society, final projects' draft, to be approved by the classification society, as well as the required technical documents needed to be granted classification and finally full technical and sea trials”.

The document doesn't list the new unit's technical characteristics, however, while calling the tender it was also pinpointed that “any bidder will have to carry out an on-the-spot inspection on sister ship Messina, currently operating in the Strait”.

The Messina, most innovative ship deployed by RFI in rail wagons' shipment – the others are: the Scilla (1985), Villa (1985) and Logudoro (1989) – is 147 metres in length, 19 metres in breadth and capable to carry 2,500 tons.

Francesco Bottino