Citing renewed confidence and growing opportunity in the international commercial ferry market, Austal Limited has announced two new contracts for three commercial passenger ferries with a total value of approximately $30million.

The WA shipbuilder was awarded a contract for the construction of a 50 metre high speed passenger catamaran for Seaspovill Co., which operates a number of high speed ferries on multiple domestic routes in South Korea.

With a contract value of approximately $16million, Austal will construct the catamaran to an Incat Crowther design that has capacity to carry up to 450 passengers, at speeds of up to 40 knots.

As many South Korean passenger ferry operators seek proven international shipbuilders to help deliver a generational update of the country’s passenger ferry fleets, Seaspovill has selected Austal to build their new ship based on continued satisfaction with their pre-owned 48 metre high speed catamaran, Seastar 3, built by Austal in 1998. This vessel continues to impress and is performing well with a high quality, robust construction and practical design.

The new 50 metre high speed catamaran will be constructed by Austal Philippines in Balamban, Cebu with delivery anticipated in June 2017.

The 50m high speed catamaran to be built by Austal Philippines for Seaspovill. (Design: Incat Crowther)

Austal has also been awarded a contract from Supercat Fast Ferry Corporation (SFFC) of the Philippines, for two 30 metre passenger catamaran ferries. A subsidiary of leading Philippines transportation and logistics company 2Go Group Inc, SFFC has awarded Austal a $13million contract which includes the provision of spares.

Transporting up to 300 passengers each at up to 25 knots, the two catamarans will join SFFC’s popular ‘Supercat’ fast ferry fleet operating between 10 ports throughout the Philippines Archipelago.

Construction of the two Incat-Crowther designed vessels will also take place at Austal Philippines and delivery is scheduled for June 2017.

The two 30m passenger catamarans for Supercat Fast Ferry Corporation will be the first vessels built by Austal Philippines for the local market. (Design: Incat Crowther)

Announcing the contracts, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the two contracts were significant in many ways, with the two SFFC vessels representing Austal Philippines’ first new build program for the Philippines domestic market and the Seaspovill contract Austal’s first new build for South Korea.

"Once again Australian ship design and reputation for performance and quality wins out in the highly competitive international ship building market. Austal has a world class reputation for high speed ferries and naval vessels which continues to be recognised and brings quality work to the business. We are seeing a resurgence in the passenger ferry market worldwide which Austal is well placed to win," Singleton added.

Since 2013, Austal Philippines has constructed nine ships and collaborated with Austal Australia on a further two ship programs. Deliveries have included wind farm vessels, high speed offshore crew transfer vessels and the largest ever vehicle passenger ferry built in the Philippines – the 80 metre Aremiti Ferry 2 for SNC Aremiti Ferry of French Polynesia.

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