Austal Limited has secured a contract for two 136 ft. passenger/cargo catamarans for ferry operator, Ofotens og Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskad ASA (OVDS) of Norway.
The two new aluminium catamarans will be built by Austal subsidiary, Image Marine and are due for delivery at the end of April 2003.
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,” McKinnon said.
“OVDS' preference for an Austal product and our ability to offer a fully customized vessel were major factors in securing this order. With the large vehicle/passenger ferry market still not as buoyant as we would like, it is very pleasing to continue to win orders across our product portfolio.”
The two 136 ft. catamarans, with an operating speed of approximately 34 knots, will have the capacity to carry 216 passengers and 12 tonnes of refrigerated cargo and will feature a functional, commercial interior outfit.
OVDS currently operate a substantial fleet of vessels including high speed and conventional ferries, cruise ships and cargo vessels.
This contract adds to the 128 ft. live-aboard catamaran currently under construction at Image Marine for operation in the Maldives, and follows closely the delivery of two 121 ft. river catamarans for Portuguese operator, Transtejo.