New Bell Island ferry deal finalized
Dutch company expects to deliver new vessel to N.L. in 2016
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has finalized a deal to have a new ferry built for the Bell Island run.
Transportation Minister Nick McGrath travelled to Bell Island on Monday to tell people that government has worked out a deal with Damen Shipyards from the Netherlands to build the new boat.
Damen Shipyards also has a contract to build a new ferry for Fogo Island and Change Islands.
"Damen will provide the best value to the province, and will provide a quality vessel that will be delivered on time, and on budget," McGrath told reporters Monday.
The 80-metre ferry will be bigger than the Flanders, the current ship on the run between Bell Island and Portugal Cove.
The new vessel will have a capacity of 200 passengers and 60 vehicles.
The value of the contract is $49.5 million.
The ferry is scheduled for delivery in February 2016.
Local MHA David Brazil lauded the announcement.
"This is a very important day for the people of Conception Bay East," Brazil said. "It is a historic day for the people of Bell Island."