Aulong Shipbuilding, a joint venture company between Australian shipbuilder Austal and Guandong Jianglong Shipbuilding of China, has secured contracts for four new high speed ferries.
Under the recently awarded A$20 million (US$15.6 million) contracts, Aulong will design and build four 42-meter high speed catamarans for Xidao Dazhou Tourism Co Ltd.
Construction will commence from Aulong’s Zhongshan shipyard in Guandong Province in March 2018, with delivery scheduled for early 2019.
The 42-meter aluminum ferries will carry up to 399 passengers each, at speeds in excess of 20 knots and will operate from Xideo, a tourist island off Sanya City, in the Hainan Province
Austal chief executive officer, David Singleton
, said the Aulong joint venture has rejuvenated Austal’s sales in mainland China, with six new high speed ferries ordered in 18 months.
“This A$20 million order is a great start to 2018, following our record sales in 2017 when we added eight commercial vessel orders worldwide, worth over A$380 million [US$297 million],” Singleton said.
“Our strategic objective in China is to establish our joint venture, Aulong, as a highly credible brand leader in the very large, mainland Chinese market. While the current vessels under construction and on order are relatively small by Austal standards
, our work to date has been of the highest quality and we expect over the next few years that larger, more complex vessels will be required in this market.
Aulong was established in 2016 to pursue commercial passenger and nonmilitary vessel building opportunities in mainland China. Austal, who owns 40 percent of the joint venture, has licensed a number of its designs for construction at the facilities of Jianglong Shipbuilding, who owns the remaining 60 percent.
“Our growing shipbuilding presence in China will also allow Austal to progressively identify and manage quality Chinese suppliers that can enter our global supply chain and so create additional benefits to the company,” Singleton added.
Aulong anticipates additional orders from new and existing customers in mainland China in the following months.