Australian Shipbuilder Incat Tasmania has secured a contract to build six new ferries for Sydney Harbour, following a tender process.
Under terms of the contract, Incat will take the concept design to detailed construction drawings and vessel models.
NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the additions to the existing Sydney Harbour fleet were a major step forward in the NSW Government’s plans to modernise and expand the ferry network.
The vessels will service inner harbour routes from Watsons Bay in Sydney’s east to Cockatoo Island in the west, stopping at the new Barangaroo wharf.
The 35m-long Sydney Ferries are expected to accommodate 400 passengers at once and will be used to operate commuter and tourist travel services.
Retaining the traditional design to look similar to the Sydney First Fleet vessel, the new ferries will feature inside seating, outdoor viewing areas, a large walk around deck, as well as other amenities including Wi-Fi access and real-time journey information, and charging stations for electronic devices.
Incat Tasmania managing director Simon Carter said: “This is a great opportunity for Incat’s highly skilled and experienced workforce to participate in the construction of ferries for the iconic Sydney fleet.
“An order such as this, where six identical vessels are to be built, is welcomed by the existing staff and provides an excellent opportunity for training new personnel.”
Construction of the first ferry is expected to start early in 2016.
All the six ferries are expected to be delivered within a year, from late 2016-2017.
Recently, Incat completed the construction of two fast ferries for London operator Thames Clippers which are due to start service in October.
The company also has four fast ferries under construction for Sydney company Manly Fast Ferry.
Image: A computer generated image of the vessels to be built. Photo: courtesy of Incat.