Austal Limited (ASX:ASB) announced on Thursday that Austal Vietnam has successfully delivered the first vessel fully constructed at the Vung Tau shipyard, the 94 metre high-speed catamaran ‘A.P.T James’ for the National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCo) of Trinidad and Tobago.
The ‘Auto Express 94’ vehicle-passenger ferry was designed at Austal Australia and features the company’s signature raked bow and optimised hull design that will transform maritime transport services on the Trinidad and Tobago ‘sea bridge’ route between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the delivery of the first major commercial vessel from the Austal Vietnam shipyard in less than 2 years since its opening was both a testament to the skill and determination of the local workforce, and demonstrated success of the company’s Australasian strategy.
“This is an outstanding achievement for both Austal Vietnam and the Austal Group as we continue to focus and consolidate our defence and commercial vessel capabilities in strategic locations throughout Australasia,” Mr Singleton said.
“Austal Vietnam is now clearly a valuable asset in our commercial vessel shipbuilding network, building upon and complementing the growing capability in the Philippines, while also freeing up capacity in our Australian shipyard for additional defence contracts for the Royal Australian Navy and export markets.
“Our sincere congratulations go to Prime Minister Keith Rowley and the National Infrastructure and Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and of course our 450-strong team of shipbuilders in Vung Tau on the delivery of this impressive new ship.”
Austal’s ‘Auto Express 94’ is an all-aluminium high speed catamaran, with capacity for 926 passengers and 250 cars, travelling at speeds up to 37.5 knots. The ship features the very latest in Austal’s ‘smart ship’ technology, including an advanced Motion Control System, to deliver a more comfortable and stable ride for passengers and crew.
A.P.T James is named after the Tobago-born politician, best known as a fierce advocate for political, social and economic development in Tobago before and during his service on the Legislative Council of Trinidad and Tobago from 1946 to 1961.
Austal Vietnam is well advanced on the shipyard’s next project, a new 41 metre high speed catamaran ferry for SGTM of Mauritius, due for delivery in the first half of 2021.