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Keel laying of first of the two ferries for P&O Ferries took place

The keel of a ferry to be built for P&O Ferries was laid at STX Europe, Rauma on 25 August, 2009. The vessel is the first of the two ferries scheduled for delivery from Rauma shipyard in 2010 and 2011.

Following a traditional ceremony, some lucky coins were placed under the keel. The purpose is to bring luck for the vessel and also to symbolize the smooth co-operation of the shipyards and the shipowner. Delegates of P&O Ferries, L'loyds Register and STX Europe were witnessing this ceremony.

When completed, this vessel will be the largest ferry in the English Channel. This means a 49,000 GT vessel with the length of 212 metres and having 3,746 lane metres of vehicle space. There will be space for more than 180 freight vehicles and, additionally, for up to 195 tourist vehicles. The vessels will be capable of carrying up to 1,750 passengers.

The ferries will be as environmentally friendly as possible, offering significant advances in fuel efficiency through a hydro-dynamically efficient hull form that will optimise vessel performance with minimum fuel consumption. The latest technologies of the industry will be applied both in design and construction of the vessel. Special attention will be paid to safety aspects and environmental friendliness.

As the leading ferry builder in the world, STX Europe has for years set new standards in vessel design, size, and comfort in the ferry transportation market. Twelve of the 20 largest ferries in the world have been built by STX Europe. The newest ferries built in Finland have gained worldwide recognition specifically for their high quality.

Photos of the keel laying can be found at: - Media Centre - Download Centre - User ID: stxeurope, Password: group

For further information, please contact:
Markku Uusitalo, Project Manager / NBs 1367-8, tel. +358 400 225 268
Timo Suistio, Director, Rauma shipyard +358 400 723 942
Tanja Sabell, Manager, Communications and Competence, tel. +358 41 448 8740

STX Europe is an international shipbuilding group which aims to be the leading builder of cruise and offshore vessels. The group has a strong position in terms of developing state-of-the-art concepts, technology, processes and products for customers around the world. STX Europe comprises 15 shipyards in Finland, France, Norway Romania, Brazil and Vietnam. STX Europe has approximately 16,000 employees. Formerly known as Aker Yards ASA, the group changed its name to STX Europe in November 2008. The three Finnish yards of STX Europe are in Turku, Rauma and Helsinki.

STX Europe's principal shareholder, the international industrial group STX, has approximately 39,000 employees., and aims to be a global top player in its core areas shipping and trade, shipbuilding and machineries, plant and construction, and energy.

P&O Ferries is the leading ferry operator with a network of 10 routes linking Britain with Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. The company operates a fleet of 27 multi-purpose and freight ferries and employs 4,500 people. It is part of Ports & Freezone World, a company ultimately owned by the Government of Dubai.

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