Damen continues growth in South Korean ferry market
Damen Shipyards Group has sold a Fast Ferry 4212 to South Korean ferry operator DAEA Express Shipping. The vessel, named Sea Flower, is the fourth ferry of this design that Damen has sold in the last five years to companies operating on the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
With the contract for construction between Damen and DAEA signed in January 2016, the Sea Flower was handed over on 22 April during a ceremony in the vessel’s home port of Hupo. The ceremony was attended by a large delegation of local and regional officials as well as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in South Korea, Ruth Emmerink.
After the traditional ribbon cutting, the 42-metre long vessel set sail on her maiden voyage to Ulleungdo, one of South Korea’s easternmost territories and also a very popular tourist destination. “We are proud to see this vessel, with her capacity of 450 passengers, contribute to the safe, reliable and comfortable transport to and from the island of Ulleungdo. This will have a positive boost on the local tourist sector,” says Damen Sales Manager Asia Pacific Michiel Hendrikx.
Meeting DAEA’s strict schedule for the completion of the contract to ensure commencement of operations on the Hupo-Ulleungdo route in time for the start of the tourist season, Damen completed the vessel on time. “This type of ferry is part of our speculative building programme, the benefits of which are seen when working to such tight deadlines.”
“This was one of our stock vessels so we could finish it to the client’s specifications, delivering it where and when they needed it, in a very short time frame. The final outfitting typically involves interior layout and design: the number and configuration of passenger seats, for example, are all flexible. The colour scheme, too, is also very important – incorporating a client’s personal touch.”
The Damen Fast Ferry (DFFe) 4212 is usually built to Bureau Veritas standards. Vessels sailing under the South Korean flag, however, are required to be classified by the Korean Register of Shipping. Damen worked closely with DAEA on this aspect to achieve the smoothest possible transfer of documentation and inspection information. “We also carried out some slight modifications to ensure compliance with the stringent safety and operational requirements of the Korean flag,” Mr Hendrikx continues.
The Sea Flower represents Damen’s first vessel sold to DAEA Express Shipping, a company with a long history of ferry operations around the Korean Peninsula. “It has been a pleasure to work with DAEA. Our track record with similar vessels, short delivery times and excellent service network in South Korea all played an important role in winning this contract. We are looking forward to serving them in future.”
Damen is continuing its speculative building strategy for this ferry design: “We are currently building two further DFFe 4212 vessels – they will be ready at the beginning of 2017,” concludes Mr Hendrikx.