Austal launches first vessel at Vietnam shipyard

Austal launches first vessel at Vietnam shipyard
Austal
APT James was towed up the Saigon River to Ho Chi Minh City and lowered into the water via a floating dock

Austal Vietnam has launched its first vessel, a 94-metre high-speed catamaran for the National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCo) of Trinidad and Tobago at its shipyard in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

The vessel, to be known as APT James, was constructed in the 20 months since the official opening of the shipyard in November 2018. APT James is the first of the Austal Express 94 design, with capacity for 926 passengers and 250 cars. She is now in the final stages of fit out ahead of delivery to NIDCo in the second half of 2020.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of the 450-strong Austal Vietnam team, launching this impressive new vessel, their very first, at this challenging time in world history,” said David Singleton, CEO of Austal. “This highly anticipated and exciting new ship for NIDCo is going to have a very positive and immediate effect on Trinidad and Tobago’s ‘sea bridge’ by improving the overall performance, reliability and amenity of this essential inter-island ferry service.”

The launch took place over five days, comprising of the rolling out of the vessel onto a barge, which was then towed up the Saigon River to Ho Chi Minh City. The vessel was then lowered into the water via a floating dock and towed back to the shipyard, where it will stay until its scheduled delivery.

Austal Vietnam has also begun construction on its next project, a 41 metre high-speed catamaran for SGTM of Mauritius.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
02 July 2020

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