Austal announced that a contract for two high speed vehicle-passenger catamarans has been signed with the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. This follows the submission of a fully compliant proposal with the lowest price offer in an international tender that began earlier this year.
To be operated by Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri (IDO) the identical new ferries are scheduled for delivery in 2007 and have a capacity to carry 1,200 passengers and 225 cars or 126 lane metres of trucks plus 158 cars.
The origins of Turkey’s large fast ferry fleet can be traced to 1987 when the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality founded IDO to develop sea transportation solutions and thus help ease growing traffic congestion. With Istanbul located on the sides of the Bosphorus and bordering the Mamara Sea this has proven to be a valuable addition to the domestic Turkish transport system.
The new Austal ferries are designated to operate on a 39 nautical mile reciprocal service across the Marmara Sea between Yenikapi (Istanbul) and a new port development in Mudanya servicing the city of Bursa.
IDO Project Manager, Mr Osman Aksoy commented, “Our current Austal fast ferry fleet has provided reliable service since 1995. We appreciate Austal’s commitment to product support that assures this important means of public transport can be maintained at the highest level and our passengers appreciate Austal’s commitment to comfort and onboard amenity.”
Each ferry is to be powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 8000 series diesel engines driving a Lips propulsion system through four Reintjes gearboxes. Austal Sales Manager, Chris Pemberton said this combination was specifically developed to achieve the performance targets with 1200 passengers and 225 cars onboard.
“When faced with challenging performance requirements set out in the tender document our design team analysed many different propulsion configurations to finally attain the optimum result,” he said.
The vessels have an impressive maximum deadweight of 470 tonnes and are designed to operate with this load at speeds in excess of 36 knots utilising only 90% of maximum engine power.
The vehicle deck on the new ferries offers a clear height of 4.0 metres under the raised mezzanine decks, which are being installed for the first time on a Turkish fast ferry enabling greater flexibility in seasonal load handling.
Passenger accommodation will be located on two decks: the Tourist Class upper deck for 922 passengers also providing catering and shopping facilities and a children’s recreational area. The bridge deck will accommodate 278 Business Class passengers.
Passenger loading is enhanced by specialised boarding ramps and entrances that enable safe, simultaneous movement of vehicle and passenger traffic. In addition, the main engines exhaust via dry stacks to keep fumes away from passengers during boarding and departure.
The vessel is being built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Germanisher Lloyd, conforming to International Maritime Organisation codes and Turkish Flag and Port State Regulations.