Austal Philippines reaches major milestone in construction of 118 metre trimaran for Fred Olsen Express

February 18, 2021

Austal Philippines has completed the installation of four waterjets in Hull 395, Bañaderos Express, currently under construction for Fred. Olsen Express in Balamban, Cebu.

The second of two ‘Auto Express 118’ high-speed trimaran ferries ordered by Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands, Bañaderos Express, is scheduled for launch later this month. Austal Australia delivered the first trimaran of the two vessel A$190 million contract, the Bajamar Express, in July 2020.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the milestone was significant given the continuing challenges around shipbuilding during the COVID-19 pandemic in The Philippines.

“The successful installation of the waterjets on Bañaderos Express is a great demonstration of the commitment, skill and resilience of the Austal Philippines shipbuilding team,” Mr Gregg said.

“While the shipyard continues to meet all COVID-19 workplace requirements, the team have managed to safely and efficiently install some of the largest components to be installed on the vessel’,

Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray said the accomplishment was even more significant considering the shipyard was both completing final sea trials on the first large vessel completed on the Balamban site and constructing the largest (by volume) ferry ever constructed by the Austal group.

“Austal Philippines is well advanced on the construction of Express 5, a 115 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamaran ferry for Molslinjen of Denmark and we’re preparing for the imminent delivery of a 109 metre catamaran ferry, FSTR, for Fjord Line of Norway,” Mr Murray said.

In addition to the installation of the four Kongsberg KaMeWa 125 S3 waterjets, Austal Philippines also completed the installation of the major Austal MOTION CONTROL SYSTEM components, including swinging T-foils, trim flaps as well as the streamlined, drop-down bow thrusters at the same time; effectively all of the highly efficient underwater appendages to the trimaran hull form that help deliver superior seakeeping and passenger comfort.

Fred. Olsen, S.A.’s CEO, Andrés Marín, thanked Austal Philippines for the “significant effort made to comply with the work schedule” and said he was looking forward to the new trimaran ‘Bañaderos Express’ commencing service in the Canary Islands in summer, “as scheduled”.

Image by Austal Philippines

Image by Austal Philippines

Marín highlighted the efficient coordination and close collaboration between Fred. Olsen Express and Austal Philippines, to adapt the complex work schedule and to confidently and effectively face the difficulties associated with operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bañaderos Express is a 118 metre aluminium trimaran, capable of transporting more than 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at cruising speeds up to 38 knots. Along with her sister ship, Bajamar Express, the ship features an optimised trimaran hull form and Austal’s industry-leading MARINELINK monitoring and control system.

Bañaderos Express also features class-leading interior amenities and facilities, including multiple bars, kiosks, a retail shop and children’s play area. The vessel will operate on Fred. Olsen Express’ Santa Cruz, Teneriffe and Agaete, Gran Canaria routes in the Canary Islands.

Image by Austal Philippines

Austal Philippines has successfully installed the waterjets on Hull 395, Banaderos Express, the second of two 118 metre trimarans ordered by Fred. Olsen Express of Canary Islands in October 2017 (images: Austal Philippines).

Austal press release