Austal Ships has received a contract for two 136 ft. passenger/cargo catamarans for ferry operator, Ofotens og Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskad ASA (OVDS) of Norway.
Designed for difficult sea and harsh weather conditions, the two new aluminium catamarans are due for delivery at the end of April 2003 and will be built by Austal subsidiary, Image Marine.
Capable of carrying 216 passengers and 30 Euro pallets (12 tons of refrigerated cargo), the two vessels will operate from the Norwegian port of Bodo.
Austal’s managing director, Bob McKinnon said the contract was won in very competitive circumstances, including competition from local Norwegian shipyards
“This is the second contract for a Norwegian client by the Austal group and is the result of a concerted team effort by Image and Austal sales and design staff,” he said.
The two catamarans, each with an operating speed of approximately 34 knots, will feature a functional, commercial interior outfit including children’s play area with six seats and TV and a main deck kiosk.
Other facilities include, an area allocated for three pets (dogs) and their handlers, extensive luggage storage, an hydraulically operated passenger boarding system designed to load passengers through a three metre tide range and a crew area including an office and crew mess.
OVDS currently operate a substantial fleet of vessels including high speed and conventional ferries, cruise ships and cargo vessels.
This contract adds to the 39 metre live-aboard catamaran currently under construction at Image Marine for operation in the Maldives, and follows closely the delivery of two 37 metre river catamarans for Portuguese operator, Transtejo.