Global shipbuilder Austal has launched its next-generation trimaran vehicle/passenger ferry at its Western Australian facility.

The vessel, with seating capacity up to 1,165 passengers, is 102m long and can carry 254 cars, Austal said.

Austal’s trimaran technology enables the vessel to use less power than other high-speed crafts, which results in lower fuel consumption.

The all-aluminium vessel, which can travel at 40kt, is scheduled for completion in February 2010, the shipbuilder said.