The two new trimarans will each be capable of transporting over 1,100 passengers (Image: Austal)
Austal has won a €126 million (AUS$190 million) contract to design and build two 117-metre-long, high-speed vehicle passenger trimaran ferries for Canary Islands-based ferry operator Fred. Olsen Express.
The aluminium trimarans will be the second and third Austal will build for Fred. Olsen Express, which already operates the trimaran vehicle passenger ferry, Benchijigua Express, delivered by Austal in 2005.
“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,” said David Singleton, Austal’s CEO. “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.”
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. Constructionnstruction will begin in 2018. The vessels are due for delivery in 2019.
“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,” said Ben Marland, Austal’s vice president of sales and marketing. “It is a game-changer in the market.”