The first vessel to be built at Austal’s recently acquired shipyard in the Philippines will be a 27-meter trimaran wind farm support vessel according to the company. Construction on the wind farm vessel will begin this quarter, and provide work through to November.
Austal acquired the shipyard in the West Cebu Industrial Park in Balamban, Cebu in November last year as part of a strategy to regionalize its manufacturing base for commercial vessels. Austal is currently making significant investments to further enhance the shipyard’s capabilities.
Greg Jason, Austal’s Chief Operating Officer – Asia, says, “The $5 million enhancement program is well underway, utilizing local employees and contractors.
“Recruitment has commenced for approximately 70 staff and that process has confirmed that the existing pool of local trades people is of high quality and has highly relevant experience in building similar vessels,” says Jason.
Austal’s significant intellectual property (IP) in the design and construction of commercial vessels will be used at its Philippines operations, which will help ensure that Austal’s quality and performance standards are maintained.
“The combination of the new design and new manufacturing location shows how Austal is applying its existing knowledge and expertise to develop emerging markets,” says Jason.
The 27.4 meter long, 10.5 meter wide wind farm support vessel will be operated by three crew and be able to transfer wind farm technicians as well as deck cargo, stores and miscellaneous equipment up to 75 nautical miles offshore. It will operate at 23 knots (42 km/hour).
As we previously reported, the vessel is being built for Turbine Transfers, an existing Austal customer and well-established operator in the growing European offshore wind farm industry. The new vessel is designed to operate in ocean areas of all European countries, including the demanding conditions of the North, Irish and Baltic Seas.
Austal is able to provide high quality in-service support for the vessel through its now well-established European Service Center. These services include vessel and fleet maintenance; refit and repair; equipment and systems support; and consultancy. Austal provides these support services to a wide range of vessel types, including vessels not built by Austal.
February 18, 2012