Hobart-based shipbuilder Incat has announced that it has won a $50 million contract to build 6 new ferries for Sydney Harbour.
In a media release, the company said that it will commence production of the ferries at the beginning of next year.
The new Australian made ferries will operate in Sydney’s Inner Harbour in New South Wales, providing a regular service for commuters and tourists on the inner harbour routes from Watsons Bay in Sydney’s east to Cockatoo Island in the west, stopping at the new Barangaroo wharf.
“This is a great opportunity for Incat’s highly skilled and experienced workforce to participate in the construction of ferries for the iconic Sydney fleet. An order such as this, where six identical vessels are to be built, is welcomed by the existing staff and provides an excellent opportunity for training new personnel,” said Simon Carter, Managing Director of Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd shipyard at Prince of Wales Bay in Hobart.
Incat’s Prince of Wales Bay shipyard has around 250 staff.
The official announcement was made yesterday by Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance.
“These are the first new vessels in the Sydney Ferries fleet since 2001, and are a major step forward in the NSW Government’s plans to modernise and expand the ferry network. From the outside they will look similar to the very popular First Fleet vessels, but there will be improved customer features including more spacious outdoor viewing areas, 87 extra seats and an additional large, walk-around deck,” Mr Constance said.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman welcomed the announcement as a “massive boost for jobs and the economy and a vote of confidence in Tasmania’s advanced manufacturing sector.”
“It is very exciting news that six more of Tasmania’s finest vessels are bound for one of Australia’s iconic waterways. This not only shows that Tasmania is open for business, it shows that Tasmania has a strong future as a world-leader in advanced manufacturing. The purchase will help shore up Incat’s future and the jobs of hundreds of employees. It also means that over the last six months, 10 new Incat ferries have been announced, including four new ferries for Manly Ferries, and two new ferries bound for the River Thames in the UK,” the Premier said in a statement.
“Advanced manufacturing and maritime industry is one of Tasmania’s competitive strengths we are backing. That’s why we are playing our part to support the TasPac tender to replace Australia’s Pacific patrol boats, which would benefit businesses right around the State including Incat.”
Incat recently completed two fast ferries for London operator Thames Clippers, currently on their way to London and due to start service in October.
Four fast ferries, two 24 metre and two 33 metre boats are also under construction for Sydney company Manly Fast Ferry.