Austal (ASX:ASB) has been awarded an EUR 83.65 million (about US$92.6 million) contract for the design and construction of a new 115 meter high-speed catamaran ferry for Molslinjen of Denmark.
The order is a follow-up to the 109 m high-speed catamaran Express 4, delivered to Molslinjen in January 2019.
This new Auto Express 115 will be the largest ferry (by volume) ever built by Austal. The vessel will be fitted with a new generation of medium speed engines that are LNG compatible, and is designed with the potential to upgrade to LNG fuel in the future.
Construction at Austal’s Philippines shipyard will commence in the third quarter of 2020 and delivery of the vessel will be in the first quarter of 2022. Austal says that the vessel’s construction will dovetail neatly with the end of construction of a second Fred Olsen trimaran currently being built at the yard, creating continuity of production for the facility.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the new order from Molslinjen confirmed Austal’s continuing international competitiveness and leadership in high-speed ferry design, construction and technology.
“With this new order, Austal has once again demonstrated a clear capability to offer the best, most advanced high speed ferries, cost competitively, reliably and to the highest quality,” he said.
The catamaran will feature Austal’s signature raked-bow and optimized hull form, and an LNG-capable medium-speed power plant that offers a powerful, yet economical and environmentally-friendly solution.
“Express 5 will provide Molslinjen with a truly exciting high speed craft that will deliver a unique customer experience,” said Singleton.
The vessel will have a capacity for 1,610 passengers, space for 450 cars (or 617 lane meters for trucks + 257 cars) over two vehicle decks and an operating service speed close to 37 knots.
The new ship will provide additional capacity on Molslinjen’s Bornholm route between Ystad, Sweden, and Rønne, Denmark, from early 2022.
On board, passengers will enjoy leather appointed reclining seats (with USB ports), Wi-Fi, a full bistro and bar(s), children’s play area and multiple audio-visual screens.