Austal Philippines launches second high-speed trimaran ferry for Fred. Olsen Express


Austal Philippines has successfully launched Bañaderos Express, the second of two ‘Auto Express 118’ high-speed trimaran ferries ordered by Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands under a A$190 million contract.

Austal, which delivered the first trimaran, the Bajamar Express, in July 2020, said Bañaderos Express is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2021.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the successful launch was the first to be completed using Austal Philippines’ new floating dry dock, Hercules, procured in 2020.

“The launch of Bañaderos Express has been completed according to plan and she looks great in the water, ready for final fit-out to commence,” Mr Gregg said.

“Austal Philippines’ new floating dry dock has performed exceptionally well and added tremendous capability and efficiency to our shipbuilding operations in Balamban.”

Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray congratulated his team on another successful launch.

“It’s truly impressive that our team have capably managed the launch of a 118 metre trimaran ferry, just weeks after the departure of a 109 metre catamaran, delivered to Fjord Line,” Mr Murray said.

“In between, they’ve prepared our new floating dry dock while also working on yet another large ferry, the 115 metre Express 5 catamaran, ready to take up position in our main assembly bay.

“My thanks go to everyone at Austal Philippines, who continue to put in the greatest effort to maintain productivity and safety during this challenging COVID-19 environment.”

Bañaderos Express is a 118 metre aluminium trimaran, capable of transporting more than 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at cruising speeds up to 38 knots. Along with her sister ship, Bajamar Express, the ship features an optimised trimaran hull form and Austal’s industry-leading MARINELINK monitoring and control system.

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