Austal chooses MAN 175D propulsion for new high-speed cat

Written by Nick Blenkey
New 66 meter high speed ferry

Austal’s new Passenger Express 66, a high speed catamaran ferry to be constructed by Austal Vietnam for the Degage Group of French Polynesia. [Image: Austal Limited]

The high speed catamaran ferry under construction at Austal Vietnam for a French Polynesian operator will be powered by MAN 175D engines.

The 66-meter, 574-passenger ferry is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2023 and will operate as the Apetahi Express between Pape’ete (Tahiti) and Vaitape (Bora Bora) in French Polynesia. The new ferry will have a contracted top speed of 35.8 knots and a range of 360 nautical miles.

The Austal shipyard in Vietnam has placed an order with MAN Energy Solutions for four 16V175D-MM engines, delivering 2,720 kW at 1,800 rpm to power the water-jet propelled vessel.

The high speed cat is on order for the Degage Group, whose president, Tuanua Degage, said: “These will be the first MAN engines in our fleet. We are very much looking forward to working with MAN Energy Solutions, and in particular the MAN PrimeServ New Zealand team, to ensure the highest levels of engine relaiblity and economy on this very demanding route.”

Ben Andres, head of high-speed sales at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “This is an important milestone for the MAN 175D as it wins the favor of yet another, high-speed ferry application, this time with the Degage Group, an acknowledged leader in commercial maritime transportation and tourism. The 175D has a number of advantages that make it eminently suitable for such a technically demanding application, including its long times-between-overhaul, and its best-in-class fuel consumption.”

MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division, reports that it has already established service competence in the region in Auckland, where its local hub services 175D engines in operation at the New Zealand Navy. The same hub is located conveniently for maintenance and service support of the new high speed cat in Tahiti.

The MAN 175D engine has a number of advantages that make it suitable for HSC (High-Speed Craft) operation, including:

  • very long TBOs for demanding ferry operation with continuous high average load,
  • most competitive fuel consumption in the 2,720 kW power range,
  • lowest operating costs in class.

It is also an extremely eco-friendly engine, being designed from the outset with compliance to the latest, as well as future, exhaust-gas-emission requirements and utilizes a very compact and flexible SCR system, which enables vessel designers to optimize space on board to the maximum.

Categories: Ferries, News Tags: