Austal Philippines has successfully launched Hull 395, Bañaderos Express, for Fred. Olsen Express in Balamban, Cebu.
The second of two ‘Auto Express 118’ high-speed trimaran ferries ordered by Fred. Olsen Express of the Canary Islands, Bañaderos Express is scheduled for delivery in the second half of CY2021.
Austal Australia delivered the first trimaran (Hull 394) of the two vessel A$190 million contract, the Bajamar Express, in July 2020.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the successful launch was the first to be completed using Austal Philippines’ new floating dry dock, Hercules, procured in 2020. “The launch of Bañaderos Express has been completed according to plan and she looks great in the water, ready for final fit-out to commence,” Mr Gregg said. “Austal Philippines’ new floating dry dock has performed exceptionally well and added tremendous capability and efficiency to our shipbuilding operations in Balamban.”
Austal Philippines President Wayne Murray said the launch of Bañaderos Express was yet another milestone in the continuing development of the shipyard’s capability and congratulated his team on another successful launch.
“It’s truly impressive that our team have capably managed the launch of a 118 metre trimaran ferry, just weeks after the departure of a 109 metre catamaran, delivered to Fjord Line. In between, they’ve prepared our new floating dry dock while also working on yet another large ferry, the 115 metre Express 5 catamaran, ready to take up position in our main assembly bay,” Mr Murray said. “My thanks go to everyone at Austal Philippines, who continue to put in the greatest effort to maintain productivity and safety during this challenging COVID-19 environment.”
Fred. Olsen S.A.’ CEO, Andrés Marín, said: “Seeing the images of Bañaderos Express already afloat has been exciting. This is the moment when you realize that the new trimaran, and its incorporation to the Gran Canaria and Tenerife “maritime bridge”, is an imminent fact”. Mr Marín highlighted that "Bajamar and Bañaderos are sister vessels, hence, our third trimaran maintains the characteristics and innovations of the Bajamar Express, where all the design details have been oriented to offer an unbeatable passenger experience”.
Mr Marín joined Mr Murray in expressing his gratitude to all the Austal Philippines teams involved that have shown commitment and professionalism in these difficult times.
Bañaderos Express is a 118 metre aluminium trimaran, capable of transporting more than 1,100 passengers and 276 cars at cruising speeds up to 38 knots. Along with her sister ship, Bajamar Express, the ship features an optimised trimaran hull form and Austal’s industry-leading MARINELINK monitoring and control system.
Bañaderos Express also features class-leading interior amenities and facilities, including multiple bars, kiosks, a retail shop and children’s play area. The vessel will operate on Fred. Olsen Express’ Santa Cruz, Tenerife, and Agaete, Gran Canaria, routes in the Canary Islands.