Marine Log

Austal Auto Express cats for Oman

May 16, 2006

Austal to build two 50 knot cats for Oman

The Sultanate of Oman has signed a contract with Australia's Austal ships for construction of two 65 meter, 50 knot, multi-purpose passenger-vehicle catamaran ferries.

The contract is worth Australian $90 million (about US$69 million) and was awarded following a competitive international tender process.

The identical aluminum vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2007 and early 2008.

Each will have the capacity to carry 203 passengers and 56 cars or 54 lane meters of trucks plus 40 cars.

The ferries are to provide a new tourism service to Oman's rugged northern coastline and will be the flagship vessels in the Sultanate's expanded marine transport and security network.

Onboard features include a helicopter landing facility that has been incorporated into the design to allow for emergency operations by the Police Coast Guard

Optimized to cover the 180 nautical mile journey at speeds of up to 50 knots, each ferry is to be powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines driving a Rolls Royce / KaMeWa waterjet propulsion system.

Austal Sales Manager, Bill Hicks said the propulsion package was selected to achieve the strict performance targets with special consideration for the local operating conditions.

"Oman's approach to this contract from the outset has set a high standard not only in terms of performance but equally so with regard to safety, comfort and quality of finish. We have developed an exciting new design with many innovative features complying with the highest international standards for passenger ferries and tailored to local Oman conditions," he said.

Passenger accommodations feature high quality seating and catering facilities all located on a single deck with additional seakeeping comfort provided by a SeaState Motion Control System.

The vessels are being built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Det Norske Veritas, conforming to the IMO High Speed Craft code (HSC 2000).

Speaking on behalf of the Sultanate, H.E. Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy and Deputy Chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council, commented:

"Our requirement for these new ferries to meet the highest safety and passenger comfort standards with very high speeds, created a challenging tender requirement. We are pleased to confirm Austal's involvement in this important project aimed at furthering Oman's growing reputation as a premier international tourist destination."

In thanking the Minister, Austal's Executive Chairman, John Rothwell responded:

"These two state of the art passenger and vehicle high speed vessels reflect Austal's focus on tailoring marine transportation solutions to the operator's individual needs."

Length overall: 64.8 m
Length waterline: 61.1 m
Beam molded: 16.7 m
Hull depth molded: 6.2 m
Hull draft (maximum): 2.1 m
Deadweight (maximum): 146 t
Passengers 203
Crew 12
Vehicles 56 cars or 54 truck lane meters + 40 cars
Vehicle deck clear height: 3.1 m
Helideck capacity: Augusta Westland AB139
Main engines: 4 x MTU 20V 1163 TB73L (4 x 6,500 kW)
Propulsion: 4 x Kamewa 90SII
Gearboxes: 4 x Reintjes
Service speed: 50 knots