FBMA Marine launches biggest vesselMonday, February 3, 2003
FBMA Marine, Inc. named and launched on January 28 the largest vessel constructed at its Balamban, Cebu shipyard. In a special ceremony attended by company executives and vessel owners, the 64-meter vehicle and passage catamaran was officially named Vlieland and launched at midnight as high tide hit the slipway.
The vessel is an order from leading Dutch ferry operator Rederij Doeksen. Jan Willem Doeksen, managing director of the Doeksen Transport Group, and members of his family flew in from Holland for the ceremony.
According to Jan Doeksen, Vleiland is their company’s single largest investment and their first ship order from Asia. Doeksen said Vlieland was a “fantastic vessel” and that he was “very impressed” with the work done by FBM. He also expressed their company’s commitment to shipbuilding in the Philippines. FBMA won the contract to build the vessel over strong competition from other international shipyards. Sea Transport Solutions of Queensland, Australia designed the vessel.
FBMA Marine Chairman and CEO Roberto Aboitiz, for his part, thanked the Doeksens for the opportunity to build a ”world-class vessel”. He lauded the FBM team for its “excellent work”.
Vlieland, which has a steel hull and aluminum structure, incorporates a drive-through vehicle deck with bow and stern access for easy vehicular handling and rapid turnaround in port. It can accommodate up to 1,200 passengers and can carry 60 vehicles. It has a VIP lounge, tourist class saloons, a separate bar area, and a large open sun deck. It also features a separate play area for children.
Among those present at the launching were FBMA President and COO Doug Border, FBMA Chief Financial Officer Iker Aboitiz, Gerrit Jisse Doeksen, Mathilda Van der Goes-Doeksen, and Hendrik Boorsma, project manager of Rederij Doeksen.
Vleiland is expected to sail on her own in her delivery journey to the Netherlands at the end of March 2005. ISO 9001:2000-certified by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance, FBMA Marine, Inc. is a wholly owned Aboitiz company. The shipyard opened in Balamban, Cebu in 1997 and has since delivered high-speed ferries and patrol boats to a variety of international customers. The company currently provides employment to 500 people.