Monday, January 28, 2008

HI Superferry: Austal Corp. News 1/28/08{50947EED-4812-4AEC-B4B6-A9CAFADDD848}&Section=NewsViews

Austal signs $82m catamaran contract
By: Daniel Bragg

"Austal Limited (ASB) said it has signed a contract for four additional 47.5 metre passenger catamarans with Macau-based Cotai WaterJets. Valued at approximately $82 million, the order will add to 10 identical vessels currently under construction at Austal's Henderson shipyard in Perth.

Executive chairman John Rothwell said the total number of Austal vessels delivered to the China/Hong Kong area would now grow to 52, reinforcing Austal�s successful growth in the region. �It is a pleasing start to the year to see the Cotai WaterJet order expand to 14 ferries based on the success of the initial deliveries already operating between Hong Kong and Macau,� said Mr Rothwell. The company said that it expected the vessels to be delivered in the first half of 2009.

The announcement follows news that the US Navy will be providing a US$33 million ($37.1 million) grant assistance package for Austal USA�s planned modular manufacturing facility expansion. The company said the facility would allow Austal to construct up to six large vessels per year.

In addition, Austal said it is expecting to hear in the first quarter of 2008 the outcome of a preliminary design contract for the US joint high-speed vessel program. The US Navy intends to purchase eight vessels for joint use by both Navy and Army."

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