TASMANIAN shipbuilder Incat has inked a new deal with Maltese company Virtu Ferries to build a 110-metre vehicle passenger ferry for use in the Mediterranean Sea.
The new vessel will become the 15th in Virtu’s fleet and will be the largest high speed catamaran in the region with a service speed of up to 38-knots.
Incat chairman Robert Clifford said construction of the new ferry would commence in early 2017.
“Virtu Ferries is among the oldest, most respected and most discerning fast ferry operators in the world,” he said.
“The company was looking for increased reliability, sea keeping, passenger comfort, capacity and economy with less operational downtime.
“We are pleased to welcome them to the Incat family of ship owners.”
News of the deal has been welcomed by the Tasmanian Government who toured the Incat site as part of the announcement.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government was working hard to find new markets for Tasmanian products.
“When exports increase, it’s not just numbers on a page. Out at Incat you can see that more exports equal more jobs and more opportunities,” he said.
“In the past 12 months Tasmanian exports have increased by nearly eight per cent.
“We are the only place in Australia that is growing our exports and we are going to work with business to see that continue.”
Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison, Elise Archer, said the order secured around 500 jobs in her electorate.
“On behalf of the government, I want to congratulate everyone at Incat on the exciting news that an order for a 110-metre catamaran has been confirmed,” she said.
“It’s an exciting time for Incat and perfectly illustrates the export boom Tasmania is going through and what it means for jobs.”
The new vessel is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018.
Caption: Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison, Elise Archer, discusses the Virtu Ferries deal with Incat’s Craig Clifford and Treasurer Peter Gutwein.