The Australian shipyard group Austal has successfully completed its largest individual ferry contract to date following the delivery of two 69 metre vehicle-passenger catamaran ferries “Jazan” and “Farasan” to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With the capacity to carry 650 passengers, 50 cars and 15 trucks, the two aluminium catamarans are part of a group of four Austal vehicle-passenger ferries ordered by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance in 2007. The 88 metre “Riyadh” and “Cairo” were delivered to Saudi Arabia in December last year and later gifted to the Egyptian Government to improve ferry services across the Red Sea.
“Farasan” and “Jazan” will be operated by The Maritime Co. for Navigation from the port of Jazan in the south of Saudi Arabia along a 25 mile nautical route to Farasan Island, a holiday destination and diving location. Suited to the short distance of the intended route, each vessel has an effective service speed of 32 knots, with power from four MTU 16V 4000 M73L diesel engines producing 2,880kW each. Farasan Island’s relatively small port means that vessel manoeuvrability was another important design consideration. Electric bow thrusters installed on each hull improve vessel manoeuvrability at slow speed in harbour, while passenger comfort is assured with the installation of Austal Ride Control, incorporating two interceptors and two forward T-foils.
Both vessels recently made the 15-day delivery voyage from Western Australia to Jazan, via the Maldives and the Gulf of Aden, under their own power.
Vehicle-Passenger Catamarans for Saudi Arabia