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Damen Shipyards Yichang yard launches ferry for Timor-Leste

Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group NV says its yard in the central Chinese city of Yichang has launched a roll-on, roll-off ferry, the Berlin-Ramelau, for service in Timor-Leste.

Port Authority of Timor-Leste President Flávio Cardoso Neves said the ship had been built almost without any hitches caused by to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a written announcement issued by Damen Shipyards on Wednesday, two days after the launch.

The announcement quotes Matthias Schilf, the managing director of German consultants IMS Nord, as saying building the ship called for cooperation by parties in China, Germany, the Netherlands and Timor-Leste.

The Yichang yard will fit out the ship, which will sail to Shanghai for sea trials next month before departing for Dili in July, Damen Shipyards says.

Separately, the government in Dili says it expects the Berlin-Ramelau to reach Timor-Leste by September.