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September 6, 2002

New U.S.-Canada ferry link

Austal Limited subsidiary, Austal Ships, Henderson, Western Australia, has announced the signing of a contract (understood to be worth around US $43 million) with private company, Canadian American Transportation Systems (C.A.T.S) for an 86 m catamaran.

Due for delivery in August 2003, the vessel will operate at a speed of approximately 40 knots for the two-and-a-half-hour journey and will have the capacity to carry 774 passengers and 238 cars.

The high-speed vessel will provide a new service route between Rochester and Toronto across Lake Ontario, connecting the United States and Canada.

Austal managing director, Bob McKinnon said the contract has the potential to open more markets for Austal vessels in North America.

"This is the first Austal vehicle-passenger ferry for North America and I am certain this vessel will make a strong impression in a market with further potential," McKinnon said.

"While diversification remains important to Austal Group performance, our ability to continue to win large orders like this contributes to our international reputation as a market leader for this type of vessel."

"This contract comes at a time when the United States Military is seriously considering a range of options involving the use of high-speed vessels and this contract can only serve to further demonstrate the capability of Austal," he said.

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