Order for largest ever Austal cat

02 Apr 2009

Austal will build its largest catamaran to date following an order from Denmark?s Nordic Ferry Services for the design and construction of a 113m high speed vehicle-passenger ferry. This order, which was reported by the Motor Ship on 11 March, is for a high-speed ropax ferry designed to carry 1,400 passengers and 357 car and is scheduled for delivery in 2011.

The 1,000 DWT newbuilding will be among the world?s top 10 high speed ferries in terms of capacity and will surpass the landmark 127m trimaran ferry "Benchijigua Express" to boast the highest vehicle-passenger capacity of any Austal-built vessel. The ferry is intended for operation between R?nne on the Danish island of Bornholm and Ystad in south east Sweden where it will join Danish operator BornholmsTrafikken?s existing 86m Austal catamaran "Villum Clausen", which has been operating along the route since 2000.

Austal Managing Director Bob Browning said the company was selected following a competitive international tender process, during which a number of competing large aluminium catamaran designs were considered. "In the current economic environment, satisfying the customer's specific vessel requirements has been a key contributor to closing mutually beneficial transactions and we believe this approach is critical to the ongoing success of both our company, and our clients," Browning said.

With a maximum speed of up to 40 knots, the vessel will deliver an improved transportation service to Bornholm residents while also meeting the seasonal demand generated along the route by holiday makers. With Danish environmental regulations for fast ferries among the most stringent in the world, Austal?s design is required to comply with legislation covering environmental noise, wave-wash and exhaust emissions. The design also minimises the need for alterations to the route?s existing port infrastructure, enabling both the 113m catamaran and the 86m "Villum Clausen" to operate in the summer season using the same vehicle and passenger ramps.

Austal Director ? Global Sales and Marketing, Andrew Bellamy, said "This contract is the result of Austal working with the customer over many months with a variety of different vessel designs to offer a solution that best met the Danish Government?s tender requirements."

Three car decks accessible via both bow and stern ramps will ensure the efficient transfer of the catamaran?s large vehicle capacity. Passenger seating is situated across two levels, with lounge-style facilities located on the vessel?s bridge deck and accessible via a large staircase. A fully equipped catering area, separate bar facility, a dedicated shopping area and two child play rooms are also located on the upper deck.
The vessel will be powered by four high-speed diesel engines and will be built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Det Norske Veritas, conforming to IMO's HSC Codes.

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