The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Government has awarded Damen Shipyards Group an order for a state-of-the-art, 80 m Ice Class ferry, which will operate on the Fogo Island-Change Islands service. Scheduled for delivery in September 2015, 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 program. She will replace the aging MV Captain Earl Winsor.
On making the announcement, the Honorable Nick McGrath, Minister of Transportation and Works commented, “Our investment will provide for a new ferry service for Fogo Island and Change Islands, ensuring a prosperous and bright future for local communities and delivering long-term prosperity to the region.”
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 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.”
“However, this will be the first ferry project on the East Coast of Canada,” he continued. “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.