Tasmanian ship builder rewarded

TASMANIA'S high speed ship builder Incat was recognised recently for its achievements in excellence and innovation with two prestigious awards.

TASMANIA’S high speed ship builder Incat was recognised recently for its achievements in excellence and innovation with two prestigious awards.

The Aurora Energy 2008 Tasmanian Export Award for Manufacturing was awarded to Incat, not only in recognition of being positioned at the cutting edge of technology, but also for the value of its exports to the Tasmanian economy.

In 2007-08, Incat delivered two 112m ships to the Asian market. It also converted two vessels for delivery to commercial operators on the Isle of Man and Trinidad & Tobago. In addition, two previously chartered vessels were sold to operators in the UK.

Also, Incat’s founder and chairman, Robert Clifford, was named as only the second holder of the Interferry Person of Distinction award.

The trade association accolade, which is not an annual award, recognises Robert Clifford’s leading role in the development of large vehicle-carrying aluminium catamarans, a sector in which the Tasmania-based company claims almost 40% of the world market.

The award presentation to Robert Clifford was made during Interferry’s 33rd annual conference in Hong Kong – coinciding with his paper on Incat’s first two Evolution One12 vessels, the world’s biggest diesel-powered high-speed catamarans, for service in Japan.

International Maritime Organization secretary-general Efthimios Mitropoulos became first holder of the award in 2006 for his global leadership in promoting passenger ship safety.

Interferry CEO Len Roueche said, “Robert Clifford has been at the forefront of high-speed catamaran technology for more than 30 years and, in terms of large vehicle carriers, could certainly be called the father of the concept.

He was almost a lone voice for many years but has since seen his vision embraced by major operators on every continent.”

Clifford said he was “deeply honoured and very surprised” to be nominated by his industry peers.