Austal reaches major milestone in construction of trimaran for Fred. Olsen Express
Austal Philippines has completed the installation of four waterjets in Hull 395, Bañaderos Express, currently under construction for Fred. Olsen Express in Balamban, Cebu.
The second of two ‘Auto Express 118’ high-speed trimaran ferries ordered by Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands, Bañaderos Express, is scheduled for launch later this month. Austal Australia delivered the first trimaran of the two vessel A$190 million contract, the Bajamar Express, in July 2020.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the milestone was significant given the continuing challenges around shipbuilding during the COVID-19 pandemic in The Philippines.
Mr Gregg said:
“The successful installation of the waterjets on Bañaderos Express is a great demonstration of the commitment, skill and resilience of the Austal Philippines shipbuilding team.”
“While the shipyard continues to meet all COVID-19 workplace requirements, the team have managed to safely and efficiently install some of the largest components to be installed on the vessel.’
Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray said the accomplishment was even more significant considering the shipyard was both completing final sea trials on the first large vessel completed on the Balamban site and constructing the largest (by volume) ferry ever constructed by the Austal group.
Mr Murray said:
“Austal Philippines is well advanced on the construction of Express 5, a 115 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamaran ferry for Molslinjen of Denmark and we’re preparing for the imminent delivery of a 109 metre catamaran ferry, FSTR, for Fjord Line of Norway.”
In addition to the installation of the four Kongsberg KaMeWa 125 S3 waterjets, Austal Philippines also completed the installation of the major Austal MOTION CONTROL SYSTEM components, including swinging T-foils, trim flaps as well as the streamlined, drop-down bow thrusters at the same time; effectively all of the highly efficient underwater appendages to the trimaran hull form that help deliver superior seakeeping and passenger comfort.
Marín highlighted the efficient coordination and close collaboration between Fred. Olsen Express and Austal Philippines, to adapt the complex work schedule and to confidently and effectively face the difficulties associated with operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bañaderos Express is a 118 metre aluminium trimaran, capable of transporting more than 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at cruising speeds up to 38 knots. Along with her sister ship, Bajamar Express, the ship features an optimised trimaran hull form and Austal’s industry-leading MARINELINK monitoring and control system.