NOVEMBER 7, 2018 — Austal's Henderson, Western Australia, shipyard last month launched the Auto Express 109 m high-speed vehicle/passenger ferry Express 4 for Denmark's Molslinjen.
This major project milestone followed the roll-out and joining of the hull and superstructure in August. The vessel is now undergoing final preparations to begin sea trials as part of the acceptance and handover process.
The next-generation catamaran commenced construction in April 2017, and remains on schedule to meet contract handover date in Jan 2019. The Express 4 features an advanced optimized hull form designed to minimize fuel consumption. Also built into the vessel is Austal's Ride Control System, which will result in superior sea-keeping and comfort for over 1,000 passengers traveling at speeds up to 40 knots.
The RoPax vessel's two full vehicle decks will have capacity for 425 cars, or 610 lane meters for trucks and up to 232 cars.
"The technology and efficiency of this vessel truly places it in a class of its own - it has really redefined what is possible in high speed aluminum vessel design" said Austal CEO, David Singleton. "The international demand for Austal vessels in both commercial and defense markets is testament to the Austal team continually developing the world's most advanced vessel designs and then building them to the highest possible standard."
"The commercial ferry market has further strengthened over the last 18 months, with the Austal Auto Express 109 setting the benchmark for large, technologically advanced, super-efficient, high-speed ferries" said Austal VP of Sales and Marketing, Ben Marland. "This is a record sales period for international high speed ferries and Austal is clearly leading the market with our highly differentiated and unique designs. With demand continuing to increase we have cemented the company's largest forward order book and are continuing to add to it."