Oman Orders Two Multi-Purpose High Speed Ferries

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The Sultanate of Oman and Austal today signed a contract for two 213.2 ft., 50 knot, multi-purpose passenger-vehicle catamaran ferries following a competitive international tender process. The identical aluminium vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2007 and early 2008, have the capacity to carry 203 passengers and 56 cars or 54 lane metres of trucks plus 40 cars. The ferries are to provide a new tourism service to Oman’s ruggedly spectacular northern coastline and will be the flagship vessels in the Sultanate’s expanded marine transport and security network.

The Sultanate of Oman is situated on the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The coastline extends 1,700 km from the Strait of Hormuz in the north, to the borders of the Republic of Yemen in the south and overlooks three seas namely, the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The scenic Musandam Peninsula forms the country's northern tip, and is the intended destination for the two Austal Auto Express ferries. Optimised to cover the 180 nautical mile journey at speeds of up to 50 knots, each ferry is to be powered by four MTU 20 cylinder 1163 series diesel engines driving a Rolls Royce / KaMeWa waterjet propulsion system. Austal Sales Manager, Bill Hicks said this powerful propulsion package was selected to achieve the strict performance targets with special consideration for the local operating conditions.

Passenger accommodation features seating and catering facilities all located on a single deck with additional seakeeping comfort provided by a SeaState Motion Control System. Onboard features also include a helicopter landing facility that has been incorporated into the design to allow for emergency operations, as may be required, by the Police Coast Guard. The vessel is being built in accordance with the requirements and under the survey of Det Norske Veritas, conforming to the IMO High Speed Craft code (HSC 2000).

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