CATAMARAN builder Incat is expanding the size of the world’s biggest aluminium shipbuilding hall at its Prince of Wales Bay yards to enable the construction of bigger vessels.
Incat chairman Robert Clifford said the Wilsons Shed roof would be raised by 2m for about a third of the length so that vessels could be wholly constructed under cover.
The project is expected to cost about $500,000.
“In the past we have needed to delay installation of some items, such as radar, until after launch due to limited height space in the shed,” Mr Clifford said.
“Covered work space is a vital requirement when building aluminium ships.”
“The weld quality can only be maintained by protecting the work and the workforce from the elements because wind and rain disturb the argon welding shield.”
Mr Clifford said the expansion would enable the construction of ships up to 150m long and 32m wide with even higher cargo and passenger decks.
“The market is at last realising the weight and fuel saving available using aluminium construction,” he said.
“Every kilo saved saves fuel or allows more payload.”
“There is a another 35m vessel for a private client.”
Mr Clifford said there were also orders for two large wave-piercing catamarans.
“We have commenced construction of a 110m ferry for delivery late 2018 to Virtu Ferries to service the Malta to Sicily route, and will soon commence a 109m Ro-Pax Ferry for Spanish company Naviera Armas for delivery in 2019,” he said.