South African shipbuilder Nautic Africa has entered an agreement worth ZAR347m ($22m) with transportation company Citrans to build the first set of ferries in a series of 18 vessels for the Ivory Coast, Cote d’Ivoire.
Under the agreement, Nautica will leverage on their ability to design and build vessels in accordance to specific requirements of the international market to deliver 18 vessels at the end of this year.
The design of the vessels features a twin-hulled design concept to ensure vessel stability, comfort and promote cost efficiency. They will be 27m long and feature a maximum water draft of 1m and an air draft of 4m, rendering it suitable to ply on shallow inland waters.
Propelled by fuel-efficient twin Volvo Penta D5 propulsion systems, the ferries can achieve a speed of up to 12k.
The catamaran-styled (multi-hull) vessel is in compliance with the standards specified by International Association of Classification Societies’ (IACS) to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.
Nautic stated the ferries will be equipped with safety equipment and a range of alarms and sensors. It will be outfitted with four boarding ramps to facilitate quick and efficient access on and off the vessel.
The ferries will accommodate business and economy class passengers either through separate vessels or integration into the same vessel, featuring various seating arrangements in 200-seater and 240-seater versions.
The agreement is said being a part of a presidential infrastructure project to control urban congestion in the Abidjan area.
Nautic Africa Group company Southern Power Products CEO Jacques Brummer said: "This is a critically important project for Abidjan that will contribute positively to the economic and social success in Cote d’Ivoire."
Nautic is planning to accelerate their production to meet Citrans’ delivery deadline. The full scope of the final project is set to deliver between 42 and 50 vessels by 2020.
Image: A view of Abidjan port. Photo: courtesy of RomainSeaf.