New Caledonia-based Mary D Enterprises has selected Australian shipbuilder Austal to design and construct a 35m high-speed monohull passenger ferry.

The ferry is intended for operation between Noumea, New Caledonia’s capital, and Amadee Island and will also service other locations on New Caledonia’s south and west coasts.

The vessel will carry 138 passengers on two decks and will be compliant with the International Maritime Organisation’s high-speed craft code 2000.

The ferry will be powered by three MTU 12V2000 engines coupled to Hamilton water jets, giving a speed of 34kts.

It will be built at Austal’s Western Australian facility and is scheduled for delivery in November 2011.