Austal Group’s subsidiary, Austal Australasia, has secured a $32.8 million contract to design and build a 66-metre high-speed catamaran ferry for repeat customer The Degage Group of French Polynesia.
Austal, which previously designed and built five vessels for The Degage Group, said work on the new ‘Passenger Express 66’ catamaran will commence in August 2021 at Austal Vietnam, with a scheduled delivery in the first half of 2023.
“Over the past two decades The Degage Group has trusted Austal to design and construct five ships for their growing maritime and tourism operations in French Polynesia, and we’re delighted they have again chosen Austal to develop their latest high-speed ferry,” said Austal CEO Paddy Gregg.
“The Degage Group are an acknowledged leader in commercial maritime transportation and tourism. This contract is a clear demonstration of confidence in our Vietnam shipyard, which recently delivered its second commercial ferry within a period of just two years.
“Our sincere thanks to The Degage Group and especially the team at Aremiti SNC for again showing their trust in us to build them the very latest in high-speed ferry technology, efficiently and cost effectively, to Austal’s highest quality standards.”
The new ferry, which will operate as the Apetahi Express, will be fitted with four diesel engines and four waterjets, as well as Austal’s renowned Motion Control System and the latest MARINELINK and MARINELINK-Smart programs.
It will have a contracted top speed of 35.8 knots and a range of 360 nautical miles and will be able to accommodate 574 passengers, with an additional 80 seats available on an external sun deck.