Australian shipbuilder Austal has launched the construction of a new trimaran ferry for Japan-based JR Kyushu.

The 83-meter-long vessel, to be named Queen Beetle, would be in service between South Korea and Japan in time for the 2020 summer Olympics, according to the shipbuilder.

With a capacity for 502 passengers and an operational speed of 37 knots, the new ferry will service JR Kyushu Jet Ferry’s route between Fukuoka, Japan and Busan, South Korea.

The unit would be built at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia, where it was developed at the company’s centre of excellence in maritime design.

“This vessel configuration was first developed by Austal and has been shown to reduce sea sickness in heavy seas by around 80%. As a result the trimaran hull form is becoming increasingly popular with the high speed passenger ferry industry,” David Singleton, Austal CEO, said.

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