Austal will build a 41-metre, high-speed catamaran, having been awarded the $15.5 million contract by ferry company SGTM.
The vessel will be built at Austal’s new Vietnam shipyard, growing the company’s investment in facilities and people.
Austal CEO, David Singleton, said that the contract would provide production continuity to Austal Vietnam as it completes the fabrication of a 94-metre ferry for a customer in Trinidad and Tobago. Demand for vessels in this size category indicates the potential for follow-on vessels, he said.
“We’re very excited to be building this new ship for SGTM, our first destined for the Comoros Islands, and especially pleased that our proven vessel design continues to evolve to meet the needs of operators worldwide,” Singleton said.
The new vessel is based on an Austal Australia designed vessel, with customer defined design modifications to be undertaken in Vietnam before construction commences in March, 2020 with delivery approximately one year later.
SGTM’s director, Michel Labourdere, emphasised the company’s trust in Austal to build its first new ferry, based on the success of a pre-owned vessel.
“Based on the outstanding performance of Ntringui Express (Austal Hull 58), which was originally delivered to Japan in 1997 and bought by us in 2013, we knew we had to talk to Austal about our first new build,” Labourdere said.
SGTM is a ferry company in The Comoros, operating three passenger vessels and two freight transport ships between the islands of Mayotte, Anjouan and Great Comoros. Its services carry more than 100,000 passengers annually.