Austal secures Virtu ferry order

01 Oct 2004

Austal has secured a contract for a 67 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamaran for Virtu Ferries of Malta adding to an already healthy order book for the West Australian shipbuilder. The new vessel is scheduled for delivery in time for the 2005 summer season and will have the capacity to carry 600 passengers and 65 cars or 95 lane metres of trucks plus 35 cars.

Commenting on the contract Austal?s Managing Director, Bob McKinnon said, "This latest order for a mid-sized car ferry is particularly pleasing in that it adds another important customer to our extensive list of clients. "We already have a strong forward order position and this contract obviously enhances that."

The ferry will be powered by six MTU 16 cylinder diesel engines driving a Kamewa propulsion system through six ZF gearboxes. Austal Sales Manager Glenn Williams said this arrangement was developed to provide the optimum solution to meet the operator?s preferred engine manufacturer, speed and deadweight requirements. The vessel will have a maximum deadweight of 260 tonnes and will operate loaded at a speed of 35 knots providing a year-round schedule catering for car traffic and the import/export of cargo.

Passenger accommodation will be located on two decks: the tourist class upper deck for 508 passengers also provides two catering outlets, two shops and recreational facilities. The bridge deck will accommodates 92 club class passengers, with outside seats also available. The spacious seating configuration on both decks has been designed to allow for ease of circulation of passengers.

The vessel is being built in accordance with the requirements, and under the survey, of the Det Norske Veritas, conforming to International Maritime Organisation codes and Malta Flag State and Italian Port State Regulations. Registration will be under the Malta Flag.

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