Australian shipbuilder Austal has launched a high-speed vehicle/passenger ferry for Danish ferry operator Molslinjen.
The launching of the 109-meter-long Express 4 follows the roll-out and joining of the hull and superstructure in August. The vessel is now undergoing final preparations to begin sea trials as part of the acceptance and handover process, according to Austal.
This next-generation catamaran commenced construction in April 2017 and remains on schedule to meet contract handover date in January 2019.
The Express 4 features an optimized hull form designed to minimize fuel consumption. Also built into the vessel is Ride Control System, which will result in superior sea-keeping and comfort for over 1,000 passengers traveling at speeds up to 40 knots, as explained by the shipbuilder.
“The commercial ferry market has further strengthened over the last 18 months, with the Austal Auto Express 109 setting the benchmark for large, technologically advanced, super-efficient, high-speed ferries,” Ben Marland, Austal Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said.
“This is a record sales period for international high speed ferries… With demand continuing to increase we have cemented the company’s largest forward order book and are continuing to add to it,” he added.