Austal Philippines has reached a major milestone in the construction of a 118-metre trimaran for Fred. Olsen Express, having completed the installation of four waterjets in the second of two ‘Auto Express 118’ high-speed trimaran ferries ordered by Fred.
Austal Australia, which delivered the first trimaran, the Bajamar Express, in July 2020, said the second vessel is scheduled for launch later this month.
Austal said that in addition to the installation of the four Kongsberg KaMeWa 125 S3 waterjets, its Philippines arm also completed the installation of the major Austal MOTION CONTROL SYSTEM components, including swinging T-foils, trim flaps as well as the streamlined, drop-down bow thrusters at the same time.
The company’s CEO Paddy Gregg noted that the milestone was achieved despite the continuing challenges around shipbuilding during the COVID-19 pandemic in The Philippines.
“The successful installation of the waterjets on Bañaderos Express is a great demonstration of the commitment, skill and resilience of the Austal Philippines shipbuilding team,” Mr Gregg said.
“While the shipyard continues to meet all COVID-19 workplace requirements, the team have managed to safely and efficiently install some of the largest components to be installed on the vessel.
Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray stressed the significance of the accomplishment, given that the shipyard was both completing final sea trials on the first large vessel completed on the Balamban site and constructing the largest (by volume) ferry ever constructed by the Austal group.
“Austal Philippines is well advanced on the construction of Express 5, a 115 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamaran ferry for Molslinjen of Denmark and we’re preparing for the imminent delivery of a 109 metre catamaran ferry, FSTR, for Fjord Line of Norway,” Mr Murray concluded.