Austal inks MOU for 80 m trimaran for Japan-Korea ferry route

Rendering of the proposed 80 m trimaran high speed passenger ferry concept for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry Rendering of the proposed 80 m trimaran high speed passenger ferry concept for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry

DECEMBER 13, 2017 — Austal Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Japan's JR Kyushu Jet Ferry covering development of a new high speed trimaran passenger ferry concept for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry's South Korea to Japan route.

The 80 m ferry will be based on Austal's trimaran hull form, with the interior being developed by leading Japanese designer, Mr. Eiji Mitooka of Don Design.

"This announcement caps off a great 2017 for Austal, a year in which we have had record orders for our commercial business," said Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ben Marland. He noted that executives from JR Kyushu Jet Ferry had traveled to the U.K. and Spain to personally experience the difference in passenger comfort offered by the Austal trimaran design offers.

The MOU notes the parties' intention to move towards a contract for the design, manufacture and delivery of a vessel with a 500-passenger capacity and top speed of 38 knots. Delivery from the shipyard is planned for early 2018.

JR Kyushu Jet Ferry is part of the Kyushu Railway Company and operates daily jetfoil services between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.