|Austal Philippines has delivered the 115-metre, high-speed vehicle-passenger ferry Express 5, to Molslinjen of Denmark, following the successful completion of sea trials in Balamban, Cebu.
The ‘Auto Express 115’ high-speed catamaran ferry is the largest ferry (by volume) constructed by any Austal shipyard, in the company’s 35-year history. During sea trials, the vessel achieved a top speed of 40 knots, and bettered Class quality standards for noise and vibration in the passenger decks, with a quiet and smooth ride.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the delivery of Express 5 was a testament to the resilience and capabilities of the Austal Philippines team, who constructed the vessel through the COVID pandemic and following the effects of Super Typhoon Rai in 2021.
“Express 5 is the largest vessel, by volume, that Austal has ever constructed, and to deliver this new high-speed ferry despite the impact of the COVID pandemic over 2020 - 2022, and Super Typhoon Rai in 2021, is simply outstanding.
“Despite the challenges faced, the Austal Philippines team has delivered the most impressive vessel ever to join the Molslinjen fleet. The high-speed ferry performed exceptionally well during sea trials and will soon provide a class leading service to Bornholm in Denmark.
“Our warmest congratulations to Molslinjen on the delivery of this future-ready fast ferry, with the capability to incorporate hybrid-fuel engine technology achieving lower emissions and greater economy,” Mr Gregg said
At a delivery ceremony held this week, Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray thanked his team who have now delivered 21 vessels from the Balamban, Cebu shipyard in just 10 years.
“Express 5 is the 21st ship delivered to an overseas operator by Austal Philippines, highlighting the tremendous value added to the Philippines shipbuilding industry since 2012.
“It’s fitting that our latest and greatest ship is also the largest ever delivered by an Austal shipyard, anywhere in the world – the team are rightly very proud and are to be congratulated,” Mr Murray said.
Express 5 has the capacity for 1,610 passengers, space for 450 cars (or 617 lane metres for trucks plus 257 cars) over 2 vehicle decks and an operating service speed of 37 knots. It is powered by an LNG-capable, medium-speed power plant that offers a powerful yet economic and environmentally friendly solution. On board, passengers will enjoy leather appointed reclining seats with USB ports, Wi-Fi, a full bistro and bar(s), a children’s play area and multiple audio-visual screens.
The sleek looking 115-metre catamaran was designed by the same Austal Australia team who developed the original, signature raked-bow hull for Molslinjen’s Express 4 delivered in 2019; and includes Austal’s proprietary Motion Control and MARINELINK-Smart systems that help deliver a smoother journey for passengers and crew and a more efficient, better performing, ‘smart’ ship for operators.