Archipelago Philippine Ferries to acquire 30 vessels for $249m

17 March 2014 (Last Updated March 17th, 2014 18:30)

Archipelago Philippine Ferries (APFC) is spending $249m on the purchase of 30 passenger and cargo vessels by 2018.

Archipelago Philippine Ferries (APFC) is spending $249m on the purchase of 30 passenger and cargo vessels by 2018.

Each of the roll-on, roll-off vessels has a capacity to accommodate 270 to 300 passengers, seven buses and around 40 cars.

APFC chairman Christopher Pastrana said the first ten of the 30 twin-hulled ships, called Fast Cats, will be available this year.

The company has already received two vessels, which are operating on the Batangas City to Calapan route.

"The Fast Cats will be able to operate in the harsh weather and sea conditions in the Philippines."

Upon delivery of the remaining ships, the routes will be extended to the western and eastern seaboard, claims the company.

Pastrana said it will go from Mindoro to Palawan this year, and will connect Northern Palawan to Southern Mindoro. The company also intends to go to the Visayas and Mindanao.

Designed by Sea Transport Solution of Australia, the Fast Cats will be able to operate in the harsh weather and sea conditions in the Philippines.

APFC secured a loan from Japan International to fund the first ten ships, which each cost $8.3m.

The company plans to buy other vessels through a loan from the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines.

APFC is expected to use Maritime Industry Authority’s recently launched franchise application system, enhanced special processing window-express lane (E-SPWEL), which shortens the processing of permits to acquire ships and operate them in the Philippines from 52 to nine working days.