The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government has awarded Damen Shipyards a contract for a second state-of-the-art, 80 m Ice Class ferry, just a few weeks after placing an order for its first vessel, which will serve the Fogo Island-Change Islands.
This second order is for an identical vessel but it will be deployed between Bell Island and Portugal Cove-St. Philip's.
Scheduled for delivery in February 2016, the 14-knot ro-ro ferry will be able to carry up to 200 passengers and 60 vehicles.
The investment in the new ferry is part of the Government’s vessel renewal programme and will expand capacity on the route by replacing the MV Beaumont Hamel. The MV Flanders will continue to serve Bell Island alongside the new ferry.
On announcing the new ferry’s arrival, Conception Bay East Member of the House of Assembly, David Brazil, said a more capable ferry service would open up economic opportunities for Bell Island. The province previously announced plans to spend $10 million on the necessary wharf upgrades to accommodate the new vessel.
Fifteen proposals were received in response to the Government's request for proposals for the construction of new ferry vessels. Government representatives visited Damen headquarters and its shipyards, as well as some ferries previously built by Damen for the Texel-Den Helder service in the Netherlands.
Following the extensive evaluation process, Damen received the highest overall score of all the proposals as it ‘will provide the best value to the province and a high quality vessel that will be delivered on time and on budget’.
Jan van Hogerwou, Manager North America, Damen Shipyards Group, said: “Damen is proud to have been selected to partner with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to build these new ferries.
“Damen is not new to the East Coast of Canada. We have licensed our Spa 4207 patrol boat design to Irving Shipyards for the local construction of the Mid Shore Patrol Program of the Canadian Coast Guard and we recently delivered two high-end pontoons to a Canadian operator for deployment at a large offshore project in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“The 80 m ferry was designed by a Canadian engineering firm and the Damen Shipyards Group looks forward to further enhancing the working relationship with this company to ensure that this new vessel meets all possible requirements, not only for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador but also for the passengers she will transport in the next few decades.”
Together with the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government, Damen is also exploring more opportunities about how it can be more closely involved in the local community and further development of the shipbuilding industry in the region.