COMMERCIAL NEWS - Austal vessel to boost Tahiti-Moorea relations
French Polynesian transport operator SNC Aremiti has commissioned Austal Ships to expand its fleet, placing an order for an 80m catamaran scheduled for delivery in October 2013.
The medium-size, vehicle-passenger catamaran will be the fourth vessel that Aremiti and its associated companies have purchased from Austal, and will operate alongside another Austal catamaran between Tahiti and Moorea islands at a fully-loaded rate of 20kt.
The ferry’s design will support tourism and local trade, carrying up to 967 passengers and offering 230 freight lane-metres for motorised transport, with hoistable mezzanine decks for transporting trucks of up to 50 tonnes.
Seating will be divided between a single lounge on the bridge deck, and a sun deck and two lounges and on the upper deck; the aft featuring tables and chairs, and tub and bench lounges.
Austal’s expertise in aluminium construction and multihull vessel design has assured strong interest within the medium-speed RoPax ferry market. The Aussie-grown multinational has produced over 220 vessels, including more than 130 catamarans and trimarans, and has developed a very efficient hullform and combine it with a fully optimised propulsion system.
Last month Austal signed a new contract for a 27m wind farm support vessel with Turbine Transfers, which already has three other vessels under construction at Austal.
“Austal has identified medium speed ferries and wind farm vessels as areas where we can apply our skills to create growth within the business. These two new orders show that our strategy of continuing to apply and expand our portfolio of intellectual property through product development and research is paying dividends,” says Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy.