Austal welcomes the recent acquisition of its two 47.5 metre passenger ferries built for New World First Ferry (NWFF) by fellow Hong Kong operator Shun Tak-Turbojet, the main operator on the Hong Kong to Macau route, a route which attracted close to 17 million passengers in 2007.
Purchase of the two NWFF vessels, which were completed at Austal’s Tasmanian shipyard and recently handed over to NWFF, will further expand Shun Tak-Turbojets’ current fleet of 31 high-speed passenger vessels serving routes in the Pearl River Delta including Hong Kong and Macau.
Initially ordered by NWFF in 2007, the two passenger catamarans are based on a proven design optimised for service speeds in excess of 42 knots and the comfortable carriage of 418 passengers with high quality passenger amenities.
Shun Tak Holdings Limited Managing Director Pansy Ho's speech at the recent 2008 Interferry conference explained that the two new Austal catamarans would allow them “to continue to serve the general market with a more cost effective structure, in particular reduced fuel cost per trip.”
Austal Sales Manager Chris Pemberton said the company was extremely pleased and proud that Shun Tak-Turbojet had now joined the list of Austal operators.
“These vessels are among 50 high speed passenger ferries Austal has built for operation in the Hong Kong region and we feel confident they will bring considerable value to Shun Tak’s operations,” Mr Pemberton said.
The vessels arrived in Hong Kong last month following a 14-day journey from Austal’s Tasmanian shipyard along the east coast of Australia onboard liftship “Pantanal”.
Austal's Tasmanian shipyard is now building three 22 metre, 25 knot catamarans which are scheduled for delivery in 2009.