Major Contract

Interislander Ferry Replacement Project – Ferry Procurement

Interislander Ferry Replacement Project – Ferry Procurement

The project involves replacing KiwiRail's Interislander fleet ferry service, which links road and rail networks between New Zealand's north and south islands, with two new rail-enabled ferries.

At 220 metres long, the new ships will be significantly larger than the current vessels.The capacity requirements for each new ferry include the ability to transport:

  • 40 rail wagons 
  • aound 3,000 lane metres for vehicles, and 
  • about 1,800 passengers.

This accounts for 300 per cent more rail wagon, almost double the number of vehicles and twice as many passengers compared to the capacity of the current three-ship fleet.

Key Dates

Aug 2019 EOIs Open
May 2020 RFP Open
Jul 2021 Contract Award
Jul 2021 Preferred Bidder Selection
Aug 2021 Expected Construction Commencement
Dec 2026 Operations/Service Commencement

Funding contributions

NZ Government


Procuring Agency: KiwiRail
Successful Tenderer: Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
Related contracts:
Electric Propulsion System (EPS) Supply
Successful Tenderer - Siemens Energy

Ferry Engine Supply
Successful Tenderer - MAN Energy Solutions


Aug 2019 KiwiRail commenced Expression of Interest process for the procurement of a shipyard to build the new ships.
Feb 2020 KiwiRail completed the Request for Information process for the procurement of a shipyard to build the new ships.
May 2020 KiwiRail issued Request for Proposals to shortlisted shipyards to deliver the two ships. The shortlist was not publicly disclosed.
Dec 2020 Hyundai Mipo Dockyard was named as the preferred proponent to deliver the two new Interislander ferries.
Jul 2021 KiwiRail achieved contract close with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) for the delivery of two new ferries. The first is expected to arrive in 2025 and the second in 2026. The contract price for the two ferries was NZ$551 million (A$515 million).
Sep 2021 Kiwirail's $350 million loan facility for the purchase of the replacement ferries has been certified as a green investment by the Climate Bond Initiative.
May 2022 Kiwi Rail awarded Siemens Energy the contract to supply the integrated Electric Propulsion System (EPS) for the Interislander’s new rail-enabled ferries.
Aug 2022 Kiwi Rail announced German multi-national MAN Energy Solutions has been selected to supply the main generator engines for its new hybrid-electric fleet.
Estimated Total Cost
Other Transport
Procurement approach
Traditional Procurement |
New Zealand |
Project pages