The new ro-pax ferry will improve transport reliability and employment opportunities in Timor-Leste (Image: Damen Shipyards Group)
Damen Shipyards Group is to deliver a new ro-pax ferry for the Republic of Timor-Leste.
The vessel will operate a new route between the Timor-Leste capital Dili, the enclave of Oecusse and the north coast of the island of Ataúro. The ferry will replace an ageing vessel currently in operation when it enters service in 2021, lowering operation costs while improving reliability and employment opportunities. In preparation for the ferry’s arrival, the Port Authority of Timor-Leste IP will undertake work to improve and build support infrastructure.
The contract agreeing the delivery was signed by Timor-Leste’s Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva, and the regional director of Damen Shipyards, Gysbert Boersma.
“This new ferry will help to connect Dili with other ports on the south and east coasts of Timor-Leste and improve access to market, education and institutions in Dili and provide other important services to Timor-Leste,” said da Silva. “This new ferry will increase job opportunities to our seafarers and give direct and long-term employment opportunities to our Timorese seafarers.”
The new ferry will be 16 metres wide and 67.3 metres long, with a maximum speed of 10 knots and capacity for 380 passengers. The project will be designed and managed from Damen’s head office in the Netherlands, while the vessel will be constructed at the company’s Yichang shipyard in China.
“I hope this project will be the start of a long-lasting cooperation between the Republic of Timor-Leste and the Damen Shipyards Group,” said Boersma. “It is a privilege to contribute to the improved mobility of the Timor East people. With this ferry, in 19 months, Timor-Leste will receive a high-quality vessel that will last for a generation.”
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