Damen Shipyards recently launched MV Veteran at its Galati, Romania, shipyard. Veteran, a 14-knot, 80-metre ice class Ro-Pax ferry, is the first of two roll-on, roll-off ferries built for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Transportation and Works by Damen Shipyards based on a design developed by a Canadian-Danish partnership between Fleetway and Knud E. Hansen. When completed, Veteran will be deployed on the Fogo Island – Change Islands – Farewell run in northeastern Newfoundland.

“We are working very hard to deliver these ferries on schedule and on budget,” says Damen Manager North America Jan van Hogerwou. The vessels are scheduled for delivery to the province in the fall of this year and in early 2016. Both ferries will be able to transport up to 60 cars and 200 passengers.

The launch coincides with Damen taking a step further towards setting up a Damen certified service and maintenance centre in St. John’s. “We are currently in conversation with a number of potential local service partners and we foresee entering into partnership with one of two of them,” continues Mr. Hogerwou. “This represents a commitment to the Canadian market, which, ultimately, should pave the way towards local economic benefits and future construction opportunities.”

David Brazil, Minister of Transportation and Works, commented “The launch of MV Veteran is an important milestone in the delivery of the new ferry to Fogo Island and Change Islands. Our government knows that residents of these communities, as well as visitors to the region, rely on the ferry as a critical mode of transportation and we are committed to providing a quality ferry service.”

Construction of MV Veteran has been part of major efforts to renew and modernize the provincial ferry fleet, with two new ferries already delivering service. Annually, the provincial fleet of ferries transports more than 900,000 passengers, 400,000 vehicles and 20,000 tonnes of freight across more than 50,000 arrivals and departures.