Macao & Australia. Austal launches first Venetian hotel vessel

Friday, 24 August 2007

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The first of ten 47.5 metre passenger catamarans to operate as The Cotai StripTM CotaiJet has been launched at Austal’s Henderson shipyard - unveiling the fleet’s flamboyant livery for the first time.

Finished in exciting electric blue, with a fountain flowing with gold and sparkling stars, the paint scheme will ensure the high speed ferries make a strong impact when servicing the entertainment, gaming, convention, and hotel facilities on The Cotai StripTM in Macao.

With the 10th hull currently on the production line, Austal is on track to meet its challenging delivery schedule for all vessels to be in operation in 2007 and 2008.

Since signing the contract last November, the speed of the project is evidence of Austal’s commitment to implementing Advanced Ship Building (ASB) design and construction techniques. The Cotai StripTM vessels incorporate the highest proportion of these methods compared to previous deliveries.

To enable ferry transport support to be made available as soon as the Pac On Ferry Terminal is available in Macao, the first vessel will make the journey from Austal’s Henderson shipyard to Macao ahead of the remaining vessels, which will follow in multiples.

The passenger catamarans will capitalise on the rapidly growing demand for the Hong Kong to Macao service, currently the world’s largest route in terms of passenger numbers. Indeed, Macao is not only the largest ferry route but is likely to double in the next three years, driven by the Las Vegas Sands Corp’s development on The Cotai StripTM.

Macao’s emergence as an entertainment, shopping, conference and convention, gaming and mega-resort epicentre has seen a remarkable increase in tourist arrivals, with last year’s passenger numbers from Hong Kong to Macao rising more than 13 per cent to 14.3 million passengers.

With The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on The Cotai StripTM due to officially open on August 28, Austal Chief Operating Officer Steve Murdoch said the company was extremely proud to be able to launch the first vessel so soon after winning the contract.

“It is a great example of the highly efficient production facilities now available at Austal, one of the key reasons for winning the original tender. We wish them all the best with their exciting business in Macao,” Mr Murdoch said.

Powered by four MTU 16 cylinder 4000 series diesel engines, the 47.5 metre passenger catamarans have an operating speed of 42 knots carrying more than 400 passengers.

The first vessel will leave Austal’s Henderson shipyard on September 24.

Principal particulars

Length Overall:                                 47.5 metres
Length Waterline:                             43.8 metres
Beam Moulded:                                 11.8 metres

Hull Depth Moulded:                          3.8 metres
Maximum Draft:                                 1.6 metres
Maximum deadweight:                      70 tonnes
Passengers:                                       411
Crew:                                                 8
Fuel (maximum):                                20,000 litres

Propulsion

Engines:                               4 x MTU 16V 4000 M70; 2320kW at 2000rpm each
Gearboxes:                          4 x Reintjes VLJ 930
Waterjets:                            4 x Kamewa 63 SII
Speed:                                  42 knots (90% MCR)

Survey

Classification:                      Det Norske Veritas X1A1 HSLC Passenger R2 EO

Image: The Cotai StripTM CotaiJet

Last Updated ( Friday, 24 August 2007 )