Finnlines – Acquisition of two new Superstar ro-pax vessels

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We were the legal adviser in two arrangements for the financing of the acquisition of two new Superstar ro-pax vessels (Finncanopus and Finnsirius) by Finnish shipping company Finnlines Plc.

Finncanopus and Finnsirius are a part of Finnlines’ EUR 500 million Green Newbuilding Programme which includes two eco-sustainable ro-pax vessels as well as three hybrid ro-ro vessels. The first hybrid ro-ro vessel, Finneco I, was delivered to Finnlines at the Chinese shipyard China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) on 28 April 2022, Finneco II on 30 May 2022 and Finneco III on 6 June 2022. The first hybrid Superstar ro-pax vessel, Finnsirius, was delivered to Finnlines at the China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Weihai, China, on 18 July 2023. The second vessel, Finncanopus, is expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

Finnsirius will enter Finnlines’ Finland–Sweden line and the traffic is scheduled to start in September 2023. Finncanopus will join Finnsirius by the end of 2023.

The two ships are the largest ro-pax vessels in the Finnlines fleet. With a length of about 235 metres, their loading capacity will be 5,200 lane metres for rolling freight and 1,100 for passengers. In other words, the vessels have the capacity to carry approximately 200 cars and 290 trailers or 250 trucks per voyage.

The vessels are as emission-free as possible and the Superstar vessels will be equipped with innovative technology. The air lubrication system creates air bubbles, which reduce friction and hydrodynamic resistance. The onshore power supply will provide an alternative source of energy, enabling emission-free operations in port. A high-powered battery bank will be charged in port and generate power at sea. Two-speed reduction gears will improve propulsion efficiency and save fuel.

Green values have also been prioritised in the onboard design and in technological choices. As an example, lighting and ventilation can be adjusted automatically in the passenger accommodation, which reduces energy consumption.

The new vessels will feature high-quality restaurants, a sauna and spa section, business and lounge facilities, extensive shopping areas and a variety of other services. The scenic views of the archipelago have been central in the design of the vessels.

“Finnlines’ Green Newbuilding Programme has been a massive investment which will benefit our freight customers and private passengers. These hybrid ro-pax vessels are not only the largest in the company fleet so far, but they transport cargo in a more sustainable manner. For example, the vessels have been equipped with enormous high-powered battery banks and onshore power supply in order to have zero emissions while at port,” says Tom Pippingsköld, President and CEO, Finnlines.

“Our investment will strengthen services to our freight customers as well as to our passengers,” Pippingsköld continues.