Engines installed on next-generation Austal trimaran


Austal has announced the successful installation of a unique three-engine layout to its next-generation 102m high-speed trimaran ahead of the vessel’s launch next month.

The vehicle-passenger ferry, which is being built at Austal’s Western Australian facilities and is currently available for purchase, is scheduled for completion by February 2010.

Austal said unique to the vessel is a patented three-engine layout that combines with the trimaran’s hydrodynamic hull form to deliver fuel efficiency across a range of operating conditions. Each of the three MTU 20V 8000 M71L diesel engines produce 9100kW at less than 1200rpm and, according to the builder, offer the world’s highest power-to-weight ratio in their power range.

Head of Austal Design, Dr Tony Armstrong said the three-engine arrangement, along with Austal’s trimaran technology, presented a number of significant benefits to operators.

“A three-engine layout saves weight over the traditional four-engine layout, delivering improvements to fuel consumption and daily running costs,” Dr Armstrong said.

“Compared to other high-speed craft with the same installed power, Austal’s next generation trimaran allows greater speed, and achieves lower fuel consumption when operating at the same speeds,” he said.

Austal said its latest trimaran ferry builds on the company’s landmark trimaran Benchijigua Express, delivered to Spanish operator Fred Olsen S.A. in 2005. Since delivery, the company said Benchijigua Express has demonstrated the benefits of its trimaran technology in commercial operation.

“Along with superior passenger comfort when operating in the same sea conditions, the trimaran hull form can operate at a higher wave height while maintaining a higher speed in waves. The extent of waves created behind the vessel is also reduced,” Dr Armstrong said.

Austal said others to recognise the unique benefits of its trimaran technology include the US Navy, for which Austal is currently building two 127-metre trimaran Littoral Combat Ships (and don’t forget to read Commercial Marine for an update on these warships in the next issue Trade-a-Boat on sale September 23).

The company’s new 102m trimaran has a maximum deadweight of 700 tonnes, a reported speed of up to 39kts, and the capacity for 1165 passengers and 245 cars.

Photos: Ready for installation. One of the three 9100kW MTU 20V 8000 M71L diesel engines for Austal’s new-generation 102m high-speed trimaran; The new trimaran under construction at Austal’s WA facility; Artists depiction of the stern of the high-speed trimaran.