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Monday, November 25, 2019 

The Republic of Timor-Leste and Damen Shipyards Group have signed a contract agreeing provision of a new ro-pax Ferry 6716 for operation .between the Timor-Leste capital Dili, the Oecusse enclave and the island of Ataśro, providing regular transportation of passengers, vehicles and goods on the north coast of the island.

The Port Authority of Timor-Leste IP (APORTIL) recognises the need to maintain the safety and reliability of its fleet, hence the investment in a new ship. In a project co-financed by Timor-Leste and the Government of Germany, the ro-pax ferry 6716 is scheduled to begin operations in 2021, and will lower operation costs, increase reliability of the service, and improve employment opportunities due to the improvement in transportation networks.

 Timor-Leste Minister of Transport and Communications José Agustinho da Silva said: “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. This new ferry will increase job opportunities to our seafarers and give direct and long-term employment opportunities to our Timorese seafarers.”

The ferry will have a length of 67.3m, width of 16m and draught of 3.3m. The deck, with a 27-ton axle load, will reach 4.8m in height. The vessel is capable of a maximum speed of 10 knots and will have a carrying capacity of 380 passengers.

Damen’s design and proposal engineer on the project, Gökçe Koc, said: “The vessel’s two Yanmar engines, delivering 837kW of power to a 1.6m fixed pitch propeller, give it the power to manoeuvre safely when docking as well as on the open water. It’s a remarkably stable vessel and combines high levels of comfort for the passengers along with high performance for the operator. APORTIL couldn’t have made a better choice.”

Damen will conduct the design and management of the project at its head office in the Netherlands and construction of the vessel will take place at Damen’s Yichang Shipyard in China.

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