Austal to build two 117 m high speed trimarans for Fred Olsen

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The 127m Benchijigua Express was the world’s first and largest trimaran hull vehicle passenger ferry, designed and built by Austal for Fred Olsen S.A. in 2005.

OCTOBER 9, 2017 — Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) has booked a contract, valued at EUR 126 million (about $148 million), to design and build two 117m high-speed vehicle passenger trimaran ferries for long time customer Fred Olsen S.A. of the Canary Islands, Spain.

The aluminum trimarans, designed by Austal Australia, will be the second and third trimarans to be delivered to Fred Olsen S.A. which already operates the world’s first and largest trimaran vehicle passenger ferry, the 127m Benchijigua Express – designed and built by Austal in 2005.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton thanked Fred Olsen S.A. and the Olsen family for the company’s continued partnership and investment in Austal’s innovative trimaran technology and shipbuilding expertise.

“It is truly exciting to announce this major shipbuilding contract with Fred Olsen, who had the courage and foresight to work with Austal’s advanced trimaran technology in developing the Benchijigua Express in 2005,” Singleton said.

“The Benchijigua Express has become an industry benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands.”

Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ben Marland added, “This is a watershed contract for our next generation trimaran design that will deliver new levels of seakeeping, passenger comfort and efficiency, and proves the trimaran is the right tool for the job in the challenging sea conditions of the Atlantic. It is a game-changer in the market.”

The two new trimarans will each be capable of transporting over 1,100 passengers and up to 276 cars at speeds of up to 38 knots, with both commencing construction in 2018.

The vessels are due for delivery in 29 and 36 months, respectively. The build shipyard will be announced separately.

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