The Port Authority of Timor-Leste (APORTIL) has taken delivery of a new RoPax, Berlin-Ramelau, which was built at Damen’s Yichang Shipyard in China.

The new 67-metre RoPax arrived on 9 December at Timor-Leste’s capital city Dili, to start an extensive training programme for the new crew. The vessel has a capacity for 308 passengers along with passenger and commercial vehicles, and cargo.

Damen Shipyards hands over Berlin-Ramelau to the Port Authority of Timor-Leste

Source: Damen Shipyards

Damen Shipyards hands over Berlin-Ramelau to the Port Authority of Timor-Leste

The Berlin-Ramelau has been earmarked for a regular route between Dili and the nearby island of Ataúro and the enclave of Oecusse-Ambeno. The vessel is expected to bring substantial economic and social benefits, improving connections for education and employment for people living in outlying regions, as well as increasing internal trade. The enclave of Oecusse-Ambeno is a coastal settlement surrounded by neighbouring West Timor, an Indonesian province.

Damen’s Regional Director, Mr. Gysbert Boersma, commented: “Despite all sorts of challenges arising over the course of the project due to the worldwide pandemic, I am delighted that we managed to deliver the vessel on time. This was only possible due to the joint efforts of Aportil, IMS Nord, the KFW bank and Damen Shipyards. 

“The timing and construction site resulted in this project finding itself at the centre of a global crisis but, despite all the difficulties, our team was able to complete the project two years later, and with less than three percent deviation from the budget.”

“I consider this a great success,” said Minister of Transport H.E. José Agostinho da Silva in his speech at the ceremony. “Maritime connectivity reinforces national unity and is the main source of supply for the populations of Oecusse-Ambeno and Ataúro. The Maritime Transport Policy provides for the extension of maritime links to the east and south coast, and this is the original objective of the Berlin-Ramelau.”