09/10/2017 - 14:36

Austal wins ferry, combat ship contracts

09/10/2017 - 14:36

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Austal has won a $190 million contract to build two ferries for a Spanish client, along with an order for a 15th littoral combat ship for the US Navy for an undisclosed sum, but the company has yet to decide whether the two ferries will be built at its Henderson shipyard or overseas.

Austal wins ferry, combat ship contracts
An artist's impression of one of the trimaran ferries Austal will build for Fred Olsen.

Austal has won a $190 million contract to build two ferries for a Spanish client, along with an order for a 15th littoral combat ship for the US Navy for an undisclosed sum, but the company has yet to decide whether the two ferries will be built at its Henderson shipyard or overseas.

Austal will build two 117-metre high-speed passenger trimaran ferries for Fred Olsen, the second and third trimarans Austal has built for the Tenerife-based inter-island ferry operator since 2005.

Each vessel will be capable of transporting about 1,100 passengers and up to 276 cars, while reaching speeds up to 38 knots.

Construction of the ferries is expected to begin next year, with a decision yet to be made on whether they will be built in Henderson or at Austal’s facilities in the Philippines.

“It is truly exciting to announce this major shipbuilding contract with Fred Olsen, which had the courage and foresight to work with Austal’s advanced trimaran technology in developing the Benchijigua Express in 2005,” Austal chief executive David Singleton said.

“The Benchijigua Express has become an industry benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands.”

Austal also announced today it had received a contract from the US Navy for another littoral combat ship (LCS), which will be built at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal said the value of the contract for the 15th LCS was confidential, but that it fell under the US congressional cost cap of $750 million per ship.

Mr Singleton said he was delighted in the vote of confidence the contract delivered in the Australian industry for shipbuilding and design.

“The performance in the USA is fast becoming the benchmark for naval production in the world and an inspiration to all of us,” he said.

Austal’s work on the LCS program at our advanced module manufacturing facility has seen efficiency gains of 20 per cent so far with an ambitious target of 35 per cent set for the end of the build cycle.”

Austal shares closed 7.4 per cent higher at $1.74 each.

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