Perth international shipbuilder Austal has begun building its largest-ever catamaran passenger ferry at its Cebu, Philippines shipyard.
Although three metres shorter at 115 metres than the longest-ever catamaran ferry built by Austal, the new Auto Express 115 to be christened Express 5 will be the largest-ever by volume.
An aluminium plate cutting ceremony was held at Austal’s Balamban shipyard to mark the occasion.
Austal vessels just keep getting bigger, with chief executive David Singleton revealing the last two ferries built by the company in the Philippines and Australia also claimed the largest-ever title.
Singleton said: “With Molslinjen Express 5 (pictured) we are integrating the proven capabilities from our Australian, Philippines and Vietnam shipyards to improve competitiveness, reduce build times and maintain steady employment levels.”
Molslinjen’s Express 5 will have capacity for 1,610 passengers, and space for 450 cars (or 617 lane metres for trucks plus 257 cars) over two vehicle decks.
Powered by an LNG-capable, medium-speed power plant, the vessel will have an operating service speed of 37 knots.
Designed like all Austal vessels in Western Australia, the catamaran ferry features a raked-bow hull and Austal’s proprietary Motion Control and MARINELINK-Smart systems that help deliver a smoother journey for passengers.
Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray said: “This is the third large, high-speed ferry we have started in less than two years, including the largest ferry ever built in the Philippines – the 109 metre FSTR for Fjord Line.”
Picture: Molslinjen Express 5/artists impression
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