Express 4 on its way to the Baltic from Australia

The 109 m-long catamaran ferry, to sail in the livery of Molslinjen in the Kattegat, has left Austal's Australian shipyard and is expected to arrive in the Baltic at the turn of February and March.

The A$109m-worth ro-pax can carry up to 1.0k tonnes, transporting more than 1.0k passengers and 425 cars. Express 4 will operate on the Aarhus-Odden route at speeds up to 40 knots (powered by four MAN engines, she achieved a top speed of 47.8 kn during the pilot tests).

"The design and engineering enhancements pioneered by Austal's Australian design team will enable Molslinjen to achieve lower operating costs and deliver an enhanced passenger experience, two of the most important factors for global operators of large, high speed ferries," David Singleton, CEO, Austal, said.

He furthered, "Delivery of the Express 4 to Molslinjen confirms Austal's position as Australia's pre-eminent shipbuilder of large high-speed commercial craft, and we expect delivery and operations of this vessel will trigger future orders for similar vessels from other ferry operators."

Austal is constructing a similar design vessel at its facility in the Philippines for Fjord Line. In total, the company's docks in Australia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are busy with delivering other ferries, including two 117 m-long trimarans for Fred Olsen (Spain), one 83 m-long trimaran for JR Kyushu Jet Ferry (Japan), two 50 m-long catamarans for Brave Line (Taiwan), and one 49 m-long catamaran for SNC Aremiti (French Polynesia). In addition, Aulong Shipbuilding, Austal's joint venture in China, is putting together six catamarans, five 42 m and one 69 m-long, for mainland China operators.

Photo: Alustal Australia