Catamaran sets shipbuilder record

Australian shipbuilder Austal announced on October 25 it would build its largest ferry by volume to date.

The order for the 115 metre catamaran comes from Danish ferry operator Molslinjen. Austal chief executive David Singleton outlined how the ferry would be delivered.

“To be designed in Henderson over a 12 month period and then built at our state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility in Balamban in the Philippines, the catamaran will feature Austal’s signature raked-bow and optimised hull form, and an LNG-capable medium-speed power plant that offers a powerful, yet economical and environmentally-friendly solution,” he said.

Named Express 5, the Auto Express 115 follows from Austal’s agreement to deliver a 109 metre high-speed catamaran to Molslinjen, which was acquired by the company in January 2019.

Construction on Express 5 will begin in the third quarter of 2020, and the vessel will be handed over to Molslinjen in 2022.

“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,” said Singleton.

The vessel has the capacity for 1,610 passengers, 450 cars and can operate at almost 37 knots. Inside, the vessel will house a full bistro and bar, children’s play area and leather appointed reclining seats with USB ports and Wi-Fi connectivity. The ferry will operate on the Bornholm route between Ystad and Rønne.

The engines on the vessel can be upgraded to LNG if required in the future, to reduce the environmental footprint of the vessel. The construction of the vessels will commence at Austal’s shipbuilding facility in the Philippines once the second Fred Olsen trimaran is completed.

“Express 5 will provide Molslinjen with a truly exciting high speed craft that will deliver a unique customer experience,” said Singleton.