Damen launches RoPax 6716 for the Port Authority of Timor-Leste
On May 10, the Damen Yichang Shipyard launched a RoPax 6716 into the water. The vessel will be operated by the Timor-Leste Port Authority (APORTIL). It will operate between the capital of Timor-Leste, Dili, the enclave of Oecusse and the island of Ataúro, carrying up to 308 passengers, vehicles and goods. The ferry will stimulate increased access to commerce, education and employment.
Construction of the ship took place during some of the toughest months of the COVID-19 pandemic and it was only by implementing a solid set of safety measures in the yard that Damen was able to keep things going. delays.
Due to the pandemic, the launch event was a virtual celebration. Delegates from Damen, APORTIL, class and government officials of Timor-Leste in China attended. The ship launch button was pressed by Mr. Abrao dos Santos, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to China, Mr. Deng Zhiping, General Manager of Damen Yichang Shipyard and Mr. Shengtong Wang, Sales Manager of Damen Asia-Pacific .
Mrs. Maria Albert Gonclave, Third Secretary of Timor-Leste in China, released the bottle of champagne with which the ship was named Berlin-Ramelau. The name, representing the capital of Germany and the highest mountain in Timor-Leste, refers to the co-funding of the ship by the governments of the two countries.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of APORTIL, Mr. Eng. Flavio Cardoso Neves said: “Even in the face of many obstacles, the execution of this project managed to move forward, almost without deviation, towards its final destination, in Dili. The pandemic crisis has prevented parties from traveling and made it difficult for materials to move around the world. But the commitment, adaptation and perseverance of the whole team have brought us to this day. This is the strong personality of the maritime industry and its inhabitants. Some may see the ocean as a barrier, but for us it is a path that connects us to each other and allows us to go further and do great things.
Damen Asia Pacific Sales Director Mr. Gysbert Boersma said: “It goes without saying that we are grateful to His Excellency the Minister and His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Abrao dos Santos for choosing Damen for supply this high quality vessel and to our neighbors in Germany. for the financing of the project as well as all our contacts within APORTIL for the good working relations so far. I also want to congratulate the shipyard and the project team at Damen Headquarters – you did a fantastic job.
Dr Matthias Schilf of IMS Nord, consultant at APORTIL, said: “This vessel demonstrates the great potential of collaborative efforts. The construction of the Berlin-Ramelau was a truly multinational project, requiring the cooperation of the parties in Germany, Timor-Leste, China and the Netherlands. We are very proud to have played our part in this project.
Now that the Berlin-Ramelau is in the water, the yard will continue to fill. In June, the ship will travel to Shanghai for sea trials, leaving for Dili in July.
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