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Austal Vietnam to construct passenger cargo vessel

Manufacturing News

Perth shipbuilder Austal has won a contract for the construction of a 71 metre passenger cargo ferry, which will be built at the company’s Vietnamese shipyard.

Austal Vietnam will design and construct the roll-on roll-off vessel for The Degage Group of French Polynesia in a contract valued at between $30-$40 million.

The steel monohull design, which includes an aluminium superstructure accommodating up to 140 passengers seated and 17 crew, will be the first steel vessel constructed by Austal in Vietnam.

The main cargo deck of 494 sqm is capable of transporting 10′ and 20′ containers, palletised cargo and vehicles.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract was the fifth ferry to be constructed by the company for The Degage Group.

In 2023 Austal Vietnam built the 66-metre high-speed catamaran Apetahi Express to the group before delivery to French Polynesia where it is used for inter-island transport.

Gregg said: “This contract is a testament to the successful business partnership developing between Austral and The Degage Group over a number of decades, reflecting The Degage Group’s great satisfaction in the Austal ferries delivered to date and their tremendous confidence in our team’s capability to deliver this all-new, steel hull design.”

The contract is a welcome one for Austal which in recent years has relied increasingly on defence orders from the Australian and US governments.

It also adds steel shipbuilding capabilities to the Vietnam yard which normally utilises aluminium.

The Degage Group deploys nine ships and 10 heavy vehicles to provide services to the islands of Tahiti and Moorea and the western Tuamotus.

The group’s owner and Managing Director Eugene Degage said the vessel showed Austal’s commitment to delivering superior products that combined innovation and performance.

“This fruitful collaboration reinforces our conviction that Austal shipyard is a reliable and competent partner for large-scale marine projects.”

The Dory 2 has a cruising speed of 12 knots, a range of 1,000Nm and will operate between Papeete and Palliser islands.

Image: Austal/Dory 2

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