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Wednesday, April 17, 2019 

Austal has commenced construction of the second of two 118m high-speed passenger trimaran ferries for Fred. Olsen Express in the Company’s Philippines shipyard.

The vessel is due to be delivered by the end of 2020 as part of an A$190 million two-ship contract awarded to Austal in October 2017. The metal cutting ceremony for the future Bañaderos Express was held in the Philippines shipyard, where the official names for the new vessels were officially announced by Fred. Olsen Express.

The next generation designs for the Bañaderos Express, and its sister ship, the Bajamar Express, were developed at Austal’s centre for excellence in maritime design in Henderson, Western Australia.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “The Austal-designed and built 127m trimaran, the Benchijigua Express, has become the benchmark for blue-water commercial ferry operations since it entered service in 2005, exceeding expectations for performance, speed and customer experience in the Canary Islands. These new 118m trimaran vessels will continue to be a game-changer in the international high-speed ferry market when these vessels enter service for Fred. Olsen. In particular, the unique trimaran hull design and the stability that design provides, delivers a more comfortable ride for passengers, crew and cargo while maintaining the carrying capacity of a traditional catamaran in the challenging sea conditions in the Atlantic.”

Fred. Olsen Fleet Director Juan Ignacio Liaño said: “This year, our route between Gran Canaria and Tenerife islands reaches 25 years in operation. In honour of this anniversary, the new trimarans will be named after the original vessels of the line, the famous Bajamar and Bañaderos, with the addition of 'Express'. The Cutting Metal Ceremony of the Bañaderos Express, the second new generation trimaran for Fred. Olsen Express, which we all are celebrating today, is one small step for all of us, but one giant leap for our customers.”

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