April 28 2008
Austal Tasmania launches ferry for Macau
The first of two 47.5 meter passenger catamaran ferries for New World First Ferry (Macau) has been launched at Austal Tasmania, marking a milestone for the yard, which was purchased by Austal in February 2007
With new orders now being finalized and a labor force that has grown from 40 to more than 120 during the past 12 months, the inaugural launch signals the emergence of Austal Tasmania as a significant member of Austal's global production capacity.
Located in Margate, south of Tasmanian capital Hobart, the modern shipbuilding facility has a history of quality aluminum ship construction.
Austal Executive Manager Stephen Lupi said the Tasmanian shipyard was an important addition to Austal's worldwide production facilities.
"With a focus on small to medium size construction, our Tasmanian yard further diversifies Austal's current capabilities, allowing the fast delivery of smaller vessel orders built to the highest quality standards at a competitive cost," he said.
The two New World First Ferries are scheduled to enter service later in the year to meet the growing tourism demand generated from the dramatic increase in Macau's tourist arrivals since the development of its gaming and mega-resort industry.
With five Austal 47.5 meter high speed passenger catamarans already in service in the New World First Ferry fleet, the latest ferries operate at service speeds in excess of 42 knots while carrying 418 passengers.
Both will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M70, each producing 2320kW and driving Rolls Royce / Kamewa waterjets.
The two vessels are among 16 Austal passenger ferries currently on order for the China / Hong Kong region, seven of which have already been delivered. On completion of its latest order, Austal will have delivered 52 vessels to the region.
The second vessel is scheduled for launch at the end of May 2008.