AUSSIE shipbuilder Austal announced it won the $68m contract to design and build a new trimaran ferry for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry of Japan.
The 83-metre vessel is to have a capacity for 502 passengers an operational speed of 37 knots and is to service the route between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.
Construction is due to commence late this year with service set to begin prior to the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
Austal CEO David Singleton congratulated JR Kyushu Jet Ferry on the selection of the trimaran platform to expand its Japan to South Korea route.
“This exciting new vessel will deliver excellent seakeeping and an unparalleled customer experience to JR Kyushu’s ferry network,” he said.
“This contract is an outstanding start to 2018 for Austal, following a record year for commercial vessel sales in 2017.”
Austal vice-president sales and marketing Ben Marland said the vessel would be the first high-speed trimaran ferry Austal will have delivered to Japan.
“With nine Austal trimarans already in operation around the world, another seven under construction and now five on order, it’s fair to say we are seeing a transformation in the market.”