MBNA Thames Clippers is set to expand its fleet with two new passenger boats creating 75 new jobs across the South of England.
The two new 170 capacity boats will be built at the Wight Shipyard Co on the Isle of Wight and will join London’s growing river transport network in summer 2017.
The investment worth over £6.3m is the largest fast passenger ferry order for a UK shipyard in over 25 years and will involve over 100 businesses in the South of England as part of its delivery supply chain.
When the two new ferries join the MBNA Thames Clippers’ river bus service in central London they will add 14% additional capacity to the company’s network.
They swiftly follow the addition of two boats in late 2015, in total adding an additional 30% capacity in two years.
MBNA Thames Clippers will become the biggest commercial passenger fleet operating solely in English waters when the two newly confirmed boats enter service.
Sean Collins, founder and CEO of MBNA Thames Clippers, said: “In 2016 alone the MBNA Thames Clippers fleet will carry over four million commuters and visitors around London.
“We are investing in an expanded fleet, built in the UK, as well as exploring new options for piers to enhance London’s infrastructure and maximise the River Thames as a thoroughfare.
“Our commitment to enhancing the London river transport network is moving at a considerable pace.”
Peter Morton CEO of Wight Shipyard Co added: "Wight Shipyard is delighted to be awarded the contract to build two new 35 metre high speed ferries for MBNA Thames Clippers.
“The company operates a large fleet of high profile ferries on the River Thames and this new order signifies that use of the river as a means of commuter transport is growing quickly.
"We are particularly pleased that these are the first high speed ferries to be built for the company in England as in the past all new MBNA Thames Clippers fast craft have been built in Australia.
“Having successfully completed the 40 metre Red Jet 6 for the Red Funnel Group we are confident that we will deliver high quality ferries for MBNA Thames Clippers and look forward to a long partnership with them.”