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Inaugural vessel launched at Tasmanian shipyard

Inaugural vessel launched at Tasmanian shipyard

Sydney: In a milestone move for Tasmania's burgeoning Austal shipyard, the first of two 47.5 metre passenger catamaran ferries was launched this month. Built  for New World First Ferry (Macau) the vessels signal the emergence of Austal Tasmania as a significant member of Austal's global production capacity, according to Austal Executive Manager Stephen Lupi .

The shipyard reports new orders currently being finalised and a workforce which has grown from 40 to more than 120 during the past 12 months. The modern shipbuilding facility was purchased by Austal in February 2007 and boasts a history of quality aluminium ship construction.

The two New World First Ferries are scheduled to enter service later in the year to meet the growing tourism demand. With five Austal 47.5 metre high speed passenger catamarans already in service in the New World First Ferry fleet, the latest ferries operate at service speeds in excess of 42 knots while carrying 418 passengers.

Both vessels will be powered by four MTU 16V 4000 M70, each producing 2320kW and driving Rolls Royce / Kamewa waterjets. They are among 16  passenger ferries currently on order for the China / Hong Kong region, seven of which have already been delivered. On completion of its latest order, Austal will have delivered 52 vessels to the region.  [29/04/08]