First ferry under National Public Ferry System launched

The Integrated National Public Ferry Network's first vessel was launched on Saturday. The vessel was launched at a special ceremony held by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) at industrial island, Thilafushi.

According to the Planning Ministry, engine commissioning and tests and trials will be conducted during this week. MTCC hopes to inaugurate the public ferry network in November this year. The network is divided over six zones, with the first phase being implemented in three northern atolls. They are Ha., HDh., and Sh. atoll.

MTCC contracted Gulf Craft Maldives to build high-speed ferries for the public ferry network . Under the contract, Gulf Craft will be manufacturing 17 ferries for Zone 1 allocated under the National Spatial Plan. MTCC said the new ferries will run three times faster than the ferries currently in use.

The Integrated National Public Ferry Network project will cost MVR 107 million. The ferries being built for the project has the capacity to carry 50 passengers, and can run 50 knots per hour. The ferries will be accessible for people with disabilities.